A damning review into the Metropolitan Police has found the force is “institutionally racist, misogynist and homophobic” and there is a “culture of not speaking up”.
The year-long review conducted by Baroness Louise Casey was commissioned in the wake of Sarah Everard’s murder and laid bare grave concerns about the force’s culture and standards.
Casey described her findings as “rigorous, stark and unsparing” and said she hopes they will lead to fundamental change in the force.
Here we detail five of the key findings from the 300 page report on the Met Police.
‘Discrimination is often ignored’
The review found widespread bullying within the force, with a fifth of staff and officers with protected characteristics experiencing bullying and a third of those with a long-standing illness, disability or infirmity.
The report also found there is “deep-seated homophobia within the Met” with almost one in five lesbian, gay and bisexual Met employees personally experiencing homophobia and 30% of LGBTQ+ employees said they had been bullied.
Female officers and staff “routinely face sexism and misogyny”, it says, with the Met accused of failing to protect its female employees or members of the public from police perpetrators of domestic abuse”, despite the force saying violence against women and girls is a priority.
It was found there are people in The Met with racist attitudes and black officers are 81% more likely to be in the misconduct system than white colleagues. Black, Asian and ethnic minority officers and staff are more likely to experience racism, discrimination and bullying at their hands.
The report said: “Discrimination is often ignored, and complaints are likely to be turned against Black, Asian and ethnic minority officers.
The report added that there is a lack of diversity in the force with it remaining “largely white and largely male”.
Baroness Casey said: “If recruitment continues on its current trajectory, it will take at least another 30 years, until 2053, to reach gender balance. It will take even longer, until 2061, to reach 46% Black, Asian and ethnic minority representation – what is needed to be representative of London today, let alone the even more diverse city it will be in nearly 40 years’ time.”
‘Those complaining are not believed’
Predatory and unacceptable behaviour has “been allowed to flourish” as concerns raised through the disciplinary process are “not well recorded”, the report said.
It added: “Time and time again, those complaining are not believed or supported. They are treated badly, or face counter-claims from those they have accused.
“In the absence of vigilance towards those who intend to abuse the office of constable, predatory and unacceptable behaviour has been allowed to flourish. There are too many places for people to hide. The integrity of the organisation remains vulnerable to threat.”
‘Strong tendency to look for a positive spin’
The review found The Met has a “culture of denial” taking a “tick box approach” to critical findings and having a “strong tendency to look for a positive spin”.
The force puts problems in the past and “blame individual bad apples rather than pausing for genuine reflection on systemic issues”.
While the Met’s new leadership offers a “welcome change of tone and approach”, the report said “deep-seated cultures need to be tackled in order for change to be sustained”.
It added: “Keeping your head down, looking the other way, and telling people – especially senior officers – what they want to hear is the way things are done in the Met.”
There are “systemic and fundamental problems” in how The Met is run, according to the report.
It says the force has “inadequate management”, and recruitment and vetting are “poor and fail to guard against those who seek power in order to abuse it”.
Additionally, the report said because there is “no central record of training” officers “may well be in roles which they are not trained for”.
Londoners have ‘been put last’
The report found that the capital “no longer has a functioning neighbourhood policing service” and the “de-prioritisation and de-specialisation of public protection has put women and children at greater risk than necessary”.
This has left an “overworked, inexperienced workforce” investigating child protection, rape and serious sexual offences cases.
The force’s violence against women and girls strategy “rings hollow” and there is poor support for victims.
Structural changes reducing 32 borough-based commands to 12 units covering up to four boroughs has weakened links between officers and the community, the report said.
Sergeants and inspectors are “expected to manage very large numbers of constables and junior staff … without the time and the tools to do so”.