Met Police Chief Pledges to Root out ‘Corrupting Behaviours’ and Sack Hundreds

Met Police Chief Pledges to Root out ‘Corrupting Behaviours’ and Sack Hundreds
The Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Sir Mark Rowley, takes an oath to King Charles III at New Scotland Yard in central London on Sept. 12, 2022. (PA)
Chris Summers
The Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Sir Mark Rowley, has promised to root out “corrupting behaviours” which he said had gone “unchallenged,” following an independent review by Baroness Louise Casey, a former Victims’ Commissioner.

In her interim report, which was published on Monday, Casey said: “We heard many examples of unacceptable behaviour going unchecked for long periods, including cases where officers had lied on their vetting, failed their exams, and been involved in misconduct issues and were still not being removed.”

Rowley told Sky News: “We’ve been slacking a bit, removing less than one a week, maybe 40 or 50 a year. Based on this report, which clearly says that we have been far too soft, there must be hundreds in the organisation I need to get rid of. Some of them are unethical and don’t deserve to be a cop and don’t deserve to wear the uniform. And some of what they’re doing is in many cases criminal.”
Casey was commissioned by the former Met Commissioner, Cressida Dick, to conduct the review in the wake of the murder of Sarah Everard by a serving police officer, Wayne Couzens, who it later emerged had been sharing inappropriate sexual messages on a WhatsApp group, called Bottles and Stoppers, with other police officers.
Dick resigned in February after losing the confidence of the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, following a series of scandals, including discriminatory messages exchanged by officers based at Charing Cross police station, and allegations of sexual misconduct against officers.

Last month PC Jonathan Cobban, 35, and a former constable, Joel Bordars, 45, were convicted at Westminster Magistrates Court of sending “grossly racist, sexist, and misogynistic” messages. The trial heard they shared inappropriate jokes about women and disabled people with Couzens.

Casey found such misconduct had been brushed under the carpet by the Met under Rowley’s predecessors.

In her report Casey said: “The experience that ‘nothing happens’ when misconduct occurs, dissuades officers and staff from reporting misconduct when they see it. In fact, we heard that supervisors and managers are actively dissuading their staff from reporting misconduct, therefore institutionalising mistrust in the system and undermining the Met’s ability to use the misconduct system to set and uphold professional standards.”

She highlighted the case of one officer who faced 11 separate misconduct hearings over sexual harassment, assault, fraud, and other allegations. Not all were proved, but he remains a serving officer, she said.

Casey’s report said there had been a “weak” response to allegations made by black, Asian, and female officers of discrimination and misogyny by some of their colleagues.

Casey: Report Should Be ‘Line in the Sand’

She told the BBC, “I’m really hoping that the Metropolitan Police and everybody that supports it sees today’s report as a line in the sand.”

Responding to the review, Rowley said: “Integrity is the foundation of policing. People rightly expect us to uphold the highest standards. Yet our organisation is being undermined by corrupting behaviours that have gone unchallenged and have been allowed to multiply.”

He said: “While the focus of this report is on misconduct, it tells a serious story about our culture. We need to radically overhaul how our organisation is set up, and instil our values in everything we do.”

Casey’s final report is expected to be published in the spring of 2023.

Chris Summers is a UK-based journalist covering a wide range of national stories, with a particular interest in crime, policing and the law.
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