Early leaks of an official review of the workplace culture at the Metropolitan Police show it is in the ‘last-chance saloon’.
Baroness Louise Casey is due to publish her final findings on the London police force on Tuesday next week (21 March), but the Guardian newspaper has reported that the findings are “horrible” and “atrocious”.
The review was commissioned in 2021 after the murder of Sarah Everard by a serving Met officer, Wayne Couzens. An interim report was published last year, showing that numerous claims of sexual misconduct, racism and misogyny were badly handled and that there were systemic failings in the service.
In the intervening months, another serving officer David Carrick has been found guilty of 49 offences of rape and assault over a period of decades, often using his status as a police officer to gain women’s trust.
The final report is currently with government and senior police officials, and one source told the Guardian the findings would place the Met in the “last-chance saloon”.
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The review is expected to criticise the Met for failing to address systemic failures that were identified in past reports, including the McPherson review of 1999, which identified institutional racism in the force following failures in the Stephen Lawrence murder investigation.
It will say that the cases of Couzens and Carrick were not one-offs but symptomatic of the deterioration of the force’s culture, according to the Guardian. It will run to around 300 pages.
Other factors likely to feature in the review are leadership failings during commissioner Cressida Dick’s tenure between 2017 and 2022, and cuts to the budget that left many units overworked and under-resourced.
Last year, the policing inspectorate placed the Met in special measures because it had failed to address various issues. The first set of Baroness Casey’s findings criticised the force’s disciplinary system and found that too many complaints about colleagues were not taken seriously.
At the start of this year, the new commissioner Sir Mark Rowley said that uncovering misconduct in the force would reveal “painful truths” that would not be resolved overnight.
He said: “Please don’t lose heart as we confront these issues and as we do this necessary and painful work to finally rid the organisation of those who corrupt our integrity.”
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