Tuesday 21 March 2023
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Baroness Louise Casey’s final report into the Metropolitan Police has today found severe institutional failings across the organisation that will require radical reform to resolve.
The Crossbench Peer was commissioned to review the culture and standards of London’s police service in the wake of the rape, abduction and murder of Sarah Everard by a serving Met officer, and a series of other scandals that have shattered public confidence in the force.
Following a year-long investigation, in her final and full report, today Baroness Casey has laid bare deep and wide shortcomings across the force, including that:
The Met is failing women and children
After a decade of austerity, frontline policing has been deprioritised and degraded
There is institutional racism, sexism and homophobia, inside the organisation in terms of how officers and staff are treated, and outside the organisation in terms of how communities are policed
And it is unable to police itself
Baroness Casey assesses that all of this means that policing by consent in the capital is broken. And that the biggest single barrier to fixing the force is the Met’s culture of defensiveness and denial about the scale of its problems.
In response to these challenges, the Review recommends that the Met must:
Better protect women and children with a dedicated women’s protection service; introducing a new children’s strategy; and re-instating sexual and domestic abuse services as specialist functions.
Re-invest in and reprioritise frontline policing by restoring visible neighbourhood policing; giving a higher status to frontline work; and creating stronger local leadership.
Take rapid steps to end discrimination internally in its recruitment, development and promotion processes, and in its internal misconduct system; and externally by policing all communities equally including with a reset of Stop and Search.
Clean itself up by bringing in an independent team to run its misconduct system; introducing higher vetting standards and new end to end processes that stop those who are intent on abusing their position as police officers; tackling toxic cultures with clearer statements of standards for all and tougher enforcement of them; and disbanding and reforming ‘dark corner’ units where some of the worst behaviours have been found and officers are equipped to carry lethal firearms.
Improve its leadership and accountability with a new policing board for London led by the Mayor; and a new policing deal for Londoners that acknowledges historic mistakes and prioritises securing the consent of the public to police them.
The report sets out a series of measures by which success should be judged and concludes that, if sufficient progress is not being made at points of further review, more radical, structural options, such as dividing up the Met into national, specialist and London responsibilities, should be considered to ensure the service to Londoners is prioritised.
Baroness Casey said:
“I absolutely recognise the commitment that Met officers make to protecting the people of our capital city every day. They put themselves at risk to keep us safe and always deserve our thanks and support.
“But everyone within the Met also now needs to recognise that its failings go well beyond the actions of ‘bad apple’ officers. My report makes clear that, on top of the unimaginable crimes of individuals and the shocking series of events that have hit the service in recent years, the way in which the Met has responded to them is also a symptom of a wider malaise in an organisation that has fundamentally lost its way.
“The Met can now no longer presume that it has the permission of the people of London to police them. The loss of this crucial principle of policing by consent would be catastrophic. We must make sure it is not irreversible.
“It is fixable if the Met recognises the true scale of the challenge in front of it, with drastic and effective action. The Met must be prepared to accept stronger outside challenge and scrutiny. It needs strong leadership and all its officers and staff to be behind the changes required. It needs a women’s protection service, a new children’s strategy and neighbourhood policing teams back on the streets. It must move quickly towards looking like the brilliantly diverse city it polices, end its discriminatory practices and earn the trust of all communities. And it must be prepared to confront and remove those who won’t accept the basic standards of a modern, 21st century police service. Decent police officers deserve nothing less. London deserves nothing less.”
For queries regarding the Met Police’s response to the report please email
This final full report follows Baroness Casey’s interim report into the Met’s internal misconduct system published in October 2022. More details on the Baroness Casey Review, including its terms of reference, can be found here.