The Met Police is just the tip of the iceberg for sexual misconduct and racism claims – is anyone surprised?
Female officers and staff routinely face sexism and misogyny. The Met has not protected its female employees or members of the public from police perpetrators of domestic abuse, nor those who abuse their position for sexual purposes.”
People have lost trust in the Met
“The Met has become less effective and is less trusted. Public confidence has dipped below 50%. Fewer Londoners agree that the Met treats everyone fairly, and the proportion of people believing that the Met does a good job for London has also fallen.”
The Review interviewed female Met police officers, and the case studies are shocking. One officer (named as Officer A) was ‘repeatedly raped by colleague’ (named as Officer X) and as a result tried to take own life: “He smacked me round the face, I lost consciousness, he raped me. I had a black eye, a split lip.” She told the review that she and X remained on the same team despite her pleas to her supervisors for them to be separated.
The case was passed between six different investigators in the Met’s misconduct system in a year, with the officer being asked to give her account of what had happened each time. She told the review that “I had tried to kill myself that year because of the police investigation, it was draining the life out of me.”
Other case studies include a female officer who said she was sexually assaulted in the workplace, multiple times, by a more senior male officer, and was labelled a troublemaker for reporting it. She was told “It’s your word against his,” and that her alleged abuser had a “long, unblemished career in the Met.”
Alice hopes that the report has laid bare the levels of misogyny that are within the ranks of the Met, “It has always been a patriarchal organisation and most officers and leaders (mostly men!) don’t seem genuinely interested in changing that. We have to hear all the awful things that they have been getting wrong for years, before they can be fixed.”
“Dangerous men are attracted to the power of policing, and the current culture has allowed them to not only remain, but flourish, within the ranks of the Met. I’d also like the arrogant ‘us and them’ and ‘we know best’ attitude of many senior leaders to be challenged. We were taught at a [Met training school] from day one – never apologise. It’s exactly this attitude that needs to be eradicated.”
There are different schools of thought on what needs to happen next, but hopefully most people will now agree that reform is overdue and necessary, #ACAB or not.
Alice believes that the Met needs to be more open to criticism, to move forward, “they must be willing to listen to women, the black community and the LGBTQ+ community more readily, drop the defensive attitude and work with everyday Londoners to rebuild trust.”
“Women should be able to feel safe walking in their city at night. Not only have the Met failed to protect them, but they have handed power to dangerous men and set them loose with guns and warrant cards,” Alice adds. “I honestly don’t know how the trust can be rebuilt – or if it can – for starters every officer who is found to have harassed a woman, domestically abused someone, used sexist language, committed any VAWG offences, or have a conviction for any crime, need to be dismissed. We cannot continue to see officers like Terry Malka (caught masturbating on a train twice) keep their jobs. Until the Met takes a zero-tolerance stance on misogyny, it cannot rebuild trust.”