Metropolitan Police boss announces independent review and says she is 'furious' with recent events

Dame Cressida Dick refused to step down following the sentencing of former officer Wayne Couzens, reports ITV News Correspondent Romilly Weeks

The head of the Metropolitan Police has announced an independent review into the force, and says she is "furious" following the murder of Sarah Everard by a former police officer.

Dame Cressida Dick, commissioner of London's police force, told ITV News this morning she regrets the damage done to public trust in the police.

The commissioner said she will bring in a "prominent" individual to conduct an independent review into the Met's culture and standards.

An announcement about who will lead the review will be made next week, and the reviewer will be given free rein to look at the Met internally.

Dame Cressida will stay in position to oversee the review, and ruled out resigning in the wake of Ms Everard's murder.

Watch ITV News London Reporter Martin Stew's interview with Dame Cressida in full:

When asked whether the Met was institutionally sexist, the commissioner said: "People have let us down, questions are being asked about the way in which we deal with violence against women and girls".

She added that "legitimate questions" have been raised about the Met's standards.

The 60-year-old, who has held the force's top job since 2017, said she is determined that "all elements of sexism are rooted out" and that the Metropolitan Police display "the highest possible professional standards and behaviours to each other and to the public.”

She also said it wasn’t possible to say that officers accused of sexual misconduct should be suspended instantly pending an investigation.

ITV News London Reporter Martin Stew questioned Dame Cressida on what changes are to come for the Met.

The announcement comes days after former Metropolitan Police officer Wayne Couzens was sentenced to a whole life order for the kidnap, rape and murder of 33-year-old Ms Everard.

Couzens, 48, was serving in the Met's Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command at the time of his offences.

He used his police identification to carry out the kidnapping, posing as an undercover officer enforcing Covid rules.

When asked whether misogyny should be a hate crime, the prime minister's spokesperson said: "I think what’s right is the police take a look in the round... to address the issues going on within the police force."

Commenting on the announcement of a full inquiry into the Couzens case and wider police culture, Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London said:

“The horrific murder of Sarah Everard by a serving police officer has shattered public confidence in the police.  That trust has been further eroded by the news of another officer being charged with rape as well as reports of sexism, misogyny, racism and homophobia amongst some groups of officers.“Over recent days, I’ve been in detailed discussions with the Home Secretary about how we must urgently do everything necessary to rebuild trust and confidence in the police – in London and across the country. We agreed that the gravity of the situation required no less than a proper inquiry. “This inquiry must leave no stone unturned to ensure that the failures that led to a serving police officer killing Sarah Everard can never happen again. And while I know the vast majority of officers are decent and dedicated public servants, the inquiry must also address reports of widespread cultural issues. All police officers must adhere to the highest possible standards, we must stamp out misogyny, sexism, racism and homophobia, root out those who abuse their trusted position as officers, and ensure that tackling violence against women and girls is treated with the highest priority.        “There is no time to waste. So while this inquiry moves ahead, I’ll continue to hold the Met to account so that we start to see the changes we need right now – both to rebuild trust in the police and to make our country safer for women and girls.”