The words are heavy. London police is “institutionally” racist, misogynist and homophobic, denounces this Tuesday, March 21 a damning new report for Scotland Yard, already in crisis after a series of scandals, pushing Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to demand a “culture change”.
“We have to clean up” london police, “It’s time for a radical change”said on the BBC Louise Casey, the author of this independent report of 363 pages which made the front page of the British media.
It’s a font “broken and rotten”, summarizes the Daily Mail newspaper. Scotland Yard “lost the public’s trust”retient The Daily Telegraph.
“The police must restore confidence in their services”reacted the conservative Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. “We need a change of culture”.
This report was commissioned after the murder of Sarah Everard, a 33-year-old Londoner who was raped and killed by a police officer, Wayne Couzens, who arrested her under false pretence in 2021 as she was walking home. This murder traumatized the British.
The « Met Police » - the Metropolitan Police, the largest force in the country with more than 43,000 officers and staff - is mired in a series of scandals and sex crimes, fueling a serious crisis of confidence.
Lax in the face of racism and sexism
Louise Casey, member of the House of Lords and who has held several positions of responsibility in the Ministry of the Interior, had already published a preliminary report last October denouncing Scotland Yard's laxity in the face of racism and sexism.
In the introduction to the document published on Tuesday, she describes a police “institutionally (…) racist, sexist and homophobic”. According to her, violence against women and girls has not “not taken seriously in terms of resources and priorities”.
The long investigation depicts in particular how evidence in rape cases (urine or blood samples for example) could not be exploited after being stored in overloaded refrigerators – sometimes closed with straps or downright fallen. broken-down.
Moreover, “despite the presence of a few experienced senior officers, it is an inexperienced and overburdened staff dealing with child protection, rape and serious sexual offences”note Louise Casey. “People of color are over-policed and under-protected”she also accuses.
She points out that women working in the police are "victims of sexism on a daily basis" and that one "deep-rooted homophobia" reigns within the Met.
Pour Louise Casey, “this report is the first to lay bare the full spectrum of failings against Londoners, black Londoners, women, their own agents”. But she worries that he is not followed by “deep reforms that are needed”. She describes a force “who shows little humility”reluctant "to admit that there are problems".
This new document is published almost 25 years after the Macpherson report, commissioned after the murder of a black teenager, Stephen Lawrence. He had already concluded in 1999 to a “institutional racism” within the police.
The Everard case was followed by several other scandals and reports exposing racism and sexism in the London police. Under pressure, Chief Constable Cressida Dick eventually resigned in early 2022.
The crisis of confidence was further aggravated when David Carrick, a 48-year-old police officer, pleaded guilty in January to 24 rapes and multiple sexual assaults against twelve women between 2003 and 2020. He terrorized his victims by highlighting his functions.
The Met said at the time that 1,633 cases of alleged sexual assault or domestic violence involving more than 1,000 officers and agents over the past ten years would be re-examined.
Louise Casey note “not being able to ensure” that there are no more criminals like Wayne Couzens and David Carrick in the London police.
“This is a very worrying report”London police chief Mark Rowley admitted. "You can't read it without being upset, embarrassed and humiliated". “We will do everything possible to reform and change” London police, he continued, promising to rid the force of all its “toxic individuals”.
“The evidence is overwhelming”said London Mayor Sadiq Khan. “It is in all of our interests to ensure that policing changes, from the ground up”.
Source : Nouvelobs
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