Scathing Casey report finds Met Police repeatedly fails the communities it serves

Baroness Louise Casey’s review laid bare in more than 300 pages a series of grave concerns about the Metropolitan Police’s culture and standards, ITV News' Sejal KariaI reports

It is the most significant review in policing history and it is scathing and deeply troubling for Britain's largest police force, laying bare in more than 300 pages - a series of grave concerns about the Metropolitan Police's culture and standards. It details discrimination that is "pervasive and exists right across" the force and uncovers widespread failings in every department examined.

Some areas are worse than others, Baroness Casey said, in a review she described as "rigorous, stark and unsparing". Baroness Casey said "the use of force is eye-watering against specifically Black communities" and that prejudice is used "to hold power over people" within the force.

She added that it repeatedly lets down women and children, Black, Asian and ethnic minority and LGBTQ+ people. Not just its police officers and staff, but the communities it serves too. Discrimination, Baroness Casey finds, is "baked in". If you are a woman, you routinely face sexism and misogyny as a Metropolitan Police officer or staff member, while the force fails to protect you or members of the public from police perpetrators of domestic abuse or those who abuse their position for sexual purposes. Predatory and unacceptable behaviour has "been allowed to flourish". One officer told the review the detection rate - the proportion of cases where a suspect has been identified - for rape is so low that it has basically been legalised in London.

They said: "If you look at our performance around rape, serious sexual offences, the detection rate is so low you may as well say it's legal in London." Black, Asian and ethnic minority officers and staff are more likely to experience racism, discrimination and bullying at the hands of other people in the Met with racist attitudes.

Black Londoners, in particular, the report finds are under-protected and over-policed. They are more likely to be stopped and searched, handcuffed, batoned and tasered.

A black female officer - known as H - said she feared being labelled as a troublemaker if she complained about unacceptable behaviour.

"You have to try and be invisible as a black woman... If you complain you get a reputation as being trouble and then supervisors try and pass you on to other teams", she told the review.

"It's a 'learn your place' culture. Except your place is never there... At first I thought it was about being a Special [Constable]. Then I realised it was just the Met.

"And as time went on it became more obvious that it was also about being black and a woman" Homophobia is deep-seated in the force, the report finds. Almost one in five lesbian, gay and bisexual Met employees have personally experienced homophobia and 30% of LGBTQ+ employees told the review they had been bullied. Openly gay officer - called E in the report - told the review he'd been targeted with false rumours that he takes recreational drugs and has been involved in sexual relationships with senior officers, and been treated favourably as a result.

He said he'd seen WhatsApp messages exchanged by colleagues planning to target him with stop and search while he was off-duty.

He said: "This will sound quite laughable. I am scared of the police. I don't trust my own organisation. I will vary the route I walk to avoid walking past police officers when I am not at work." While claims for disability discrimination are the most frequent claim type brought against the force, with one in three of those with a long-standing illness, disability or infirmity have experienced bullying. It has meant trust and confidence in the Met has fallen sharply, to below 50%, eroding the bedrock upon which police officers operate in this country, by consent.

A principle that relies on the police operating with transparency, to be willing to explain their decisions and their reasons for it. The finding in this area is stark. Policing by consent in London is broken.

Sir Mark Rowley apologised to Londoners, admitting his force has let down members of the public

The Metropolitan Police boss, Sir Mark Rowley, has apologised.

He said: "We let people down. I repeat the apology I gave in my first weeks as commissioner to Londoners and to our own people in the Met.

"The appalling examples of discrimination, the letting down of communities and victims, and the strain faced by the front line are unacceptable. I'm deeply sorry for that."

He added: “This report sparks feelings of shame and anger but it also increases our resolve....It must be a catalyst for police reform."

The family of one of serial killer Stephen Port's victims has called for a public inquiry into the Metropolitan Police.

CCTV image of Stephen Port (right) with 25-year-old Jack Taylor on their way to the serial killer's flat in Cooke Street, Barking Credit: Met Police

Jack Taylor's sisters Donna and Jenny Taylor said an inquiry is needed to understand "how and why this force is failing people so badly".

In December 2021, inquest jurors found that "fundamental failures" by the police left Port free to carry out a series of murders, as well as drug and sexual assaults on more than a dozen other men in Barking, east London, between June 2014 and September 2015.

The 25-year-old from Essex was Port's fourth and final victim.

The Met was accused of homophobia over the failure to stop Port after he took the life of his first victim and went on to murder three more men, but force bosses denied there was an issue.

Donna and Jenny Taylor said the report highlighted the "toxic culture" across the Met Police.

"Someone needs to take responsibility for tackling issues such as homophobia, someone needs to own it," they said, adding: "That is why there must now be a public inquiry into how and why this force is failing people so badly."

The home secretary said the culture within the Metropolitan Police has to change

Home Secretary Suella Braverman said: "It is clear that there have been serious failures of culture and leadership in the Metropolitan Police, which is why the Commissioner, Sir Mark Rowley, has been taking action to restore confidence in policing in London... I will continue to hold the commissioner to account to deliver a wholesale change in the force's culture. Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer laid the blame for the report's findings at the feet of the Home Office. He said, "for 13 years there has been a void of leadership from the Home Office, which has seen Britain's policing fall far below the standards the public have the right to expect." The scale of change required is vast. Baroness Casey said that while so many police officers go to work for the right reasons and are committed to public service, the journey to change begins with policing accepting, that the job can attract predators and bullies - those who want power over their fellow citizens and to use those powers to harm and discriminate.

It is up to the Met to change itself, she said. We give the police exceptional powers, she added, and we trust them to use them responsibly. That is how policing by consent works. It is a deal. A deal that now needs restoring.

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