The Metropolitan Police has a "problem” that needs to be tackled "head-on", Justice Secretary Dominic Raab has said, ahead of what is expected to be damning criticism in a review into its standards and culture
The review by former victims’ commissioner Baroness Casey into the Met’s standards and internal culture in the aftermath of the murder of Sarah Everard in 2021 by serving officer Wayne Couzens, is expected to be published next week.
It is expected to add more embarrassing conclusions to her interim report last year which found officers had been accused of racist, sexist and homophobic behaviour.
How the Met handled those allegations is expected to come in for particular criticism.
Mr Raab said there were “clearly practises that have been far too prevalent” within the force that needed tackling “head-on”.
The justice secretary said it was clear that bad behaviour was not isolated to only one or two officers.
He told ITV News the government has got to make sure people have confidence in the police.
"Women can know that they will be protected - God forbid ever abused - by the people that are there to protect them," he said.
As well as Couzens’ rape and murder of Ms Everard, former Met officer David Carrick was recently unmasked as one of the UK’s most prolific sex offenders.
Following the full discovery of Carrick’s crimes, the force is carrying out a review of cases where officers and staff had been accused of domestic violence or sexual offences but remained with the force.
MPs were told this week that a Met officer who remained in his job after being caught masturbating on a train is having his case reviewed as part of the undertaking.
In 2022, Met commissioner Sir Mark Rowley was appointed to restore faith in the Met.
Mayor Sadiq Khan told ITV News London he has full confidence the Commissioner will turn things around.
"I am reassured that the new commission and the new deputy understand the scale of the challenges and are determined to address them," he said.
But Leroy Logan, former Metropolitan Police Superintendent and former chair of the National Black Police Association said the situation had "got worse" in the last decade.
"Things have definitely tailed off in the last 13, 14 years - the culture has got more toxic, the hostile environment doesn't appreciate whistleblowing. There's a culture of fear. People are not going to call out bad cops, so the good cops are complicit in their silence," he said.
Over six months since unarmed Black man Chris Kaba was shot by a Met Police officer, his family are still waiting for the IOPC investigation to be published.
A cousin of Mr Kaba agreed the situation appeared to be getting worse despite the 1999 Macpherson report in the wake of Stephen Lawrence's racially motivated death that sparked a debate about policing and racism.
"[We hoped] the Macpherson report in 1999 would have created widespread change - lasting change. But we're here again, so clearly not enough is being done, and if anything it's getting worse," Jefferson Bosela said.
"Of course, it's concerning. You know that police officers aren't being held to account and that these checks and balances that we have in place are not working."
The Guardian said the review by Baroness Casey had been described by a source as “atrocious” and said its conclusion would make clear that Scotland Yard was in the “last-chance saloon”.
Mr Raab told Sky News that ministers wanted to see a “no-holds barred review” from Baroness Casey into what needed to be addressed by the Met, in what appeared to be an admission that a scathing report is expected.
But he seemed to signal the UK government’s backing for Sir Mark Rowley - a former chief constable for Surrey Police which covers Mr Raab’s constituency - who he said was striving to “root out” the “bad apples” in the service.
Sir Mark was appointed in September as head of the Met, taking over from acting commissioner Sir Stephen House, who had been temporarily standing in while Dame Cressida Dick’s permanent successor was found.
The deputy prime minister vowed that ministers would “leave no stone unturned” to ensure that police were protecting rather than posing a threat to women.
“The vast majority of police officers in the Met and elsewhere do their job professionally, serve the country extremely well,” he told LBC.
“But we’ve clearly got a problem in the Met and the thing to do is to own that problem, take it, tackle it head-on.
“That’s why the Casey review is so important, that’s why the work that Commissioner Rowley is already doing is so important.
“And we can’t duck it, we can’t pretend that this is purely an isolated officer or two.
“There are clearly practises that have been far too prevalent that we must face head-on.
“So the headlines will give you some sense of that. But what really matters is the reviews and any action we take consistently and across the board to give women the confidence they can have and must have in the police and all arms of the criminal justice system.”
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