The Metropolitan Police have “nowhere to hide” after a “rats’ nest” of institutional misogyny was exposed by a damning report, women’s organisations have said.
Centre for Women’s Justice (CWJ), Rape Crisis and the End Violence Against Women Coalition have called for urgent changes to the UK’s largest police service after a scathing review was published on Tuesday.
Baroness Louise Casey’s review of the culture and standards in the force, commissioned after Sarah Everard was murdered by serving officer Wayne Couzens, found the force is institutionally racist, misogynist and homophobic.
Baroness Casey also suggested there may be more officers like Couzens and serial rapist David Carrick, and she found the force has failed to protect the public from officers who abuse women.
CWJ, a legal charity that campaigns for victims of male violence, said the review “confirms a culture which not only tolerates but fosters many of the worst forms of criminal abuse from within its ranks and reveals shocking treatment of forensic evidence gathering in sexual violence investigations”.
“As an organisation that works with victims of male violence and police abuse, the rats’ nest that has been laid to bare provides an explanation for the repeated dreadful stories we hear from the many women who have contacted us,” a spokesman added.
“It is utterly shameful that women and children have been failed as the report highlights.”
CWJ director Harriet Wistrich called for the all report’s recommendations’ to be “accepted and effectively” enacted, with police chiefs held accountable for their implementation and regular reviews of this process.
Jayne Butler, chief executive of Rape Crisis, a charity working to end sexual violence and abuse, said the review is “the latest in a long line of reports that outline the serious and deep-rooted failures within the Metropolitan Police”.
“It is evident that the Met has not just tolerated a culture of misogyny, racism and homophobia, it has enabled it to thrive,” she added.
“It should not take years of scrutiny for changes to be made: radical transformation is now a matter of urgency.
“We are tired of hearing a rhetoric of building trust.
“Trust will only follow when policing is effective in minimising rather than enabling harm to women.”
Andrea Simon, director of the End Violence Against Women Coalition, added: “This damning report leaves the Met nowhere to hide when it comes to the depth of its problems with institutional misogyny, racism and homophobia.
“Words can only go so far, and the Met cannot be more concerned with fixing their image than fixing their problems.
“Many women and girls rely on the police when seeking safety and justice, and we will be looking to the Government to see what concrete actions they take to transform their experiences.”
Met Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley has accepted there is racism, misogyny and homophobia in the force but said he would not use the term institutional.