Met in the dock on failure to root out misconduct
The new commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Sir Mark Rowley has vowed to “urgently confront” the culture, systems and leadership in the force after a review found that hundreds of police officers should have been sacked.
Baroness Louise Casey’s interim report on misconduct found that officers and staff suffered discrimination and hate from colleagues and were then let down by a weak response from the Police leadership. She found that many claims of sexual misconduct, misogyny, racism and homophobia were badly mishandled.
The report says that 20% of those facing allegations – more than 1,800 officers – had more than one complaint against them, with 500 of those having faced between three to five separate misconduct claims since 2013; and that there is racial disparity and “systemic bias” across the misconduct system, with white officers dealt with less harshly than black or Asian officers.
Casey concludes by saying the Met takes too long to resolve allegations, that staff do not believe action will be taken when concerns are raised, and that allegations relating to sexual misconduct and other discriminatory behaviour are less likely to result in a “case to answer” decision. She wants more HR expertise to support the misconduct processes.
During the qualitative research for the report many staff in the Met said they want colleagues removed from the police for unacceptable behaviour and are frustrated with the Met’s inability to do so. There were accounts that the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards had told those raising misconduct issues that unless an officer is convicted of a criminal offence, it will be hard to remove them for gross misconduct.
A final report from Baroness Casey and her team is expected to be published in spring 2023