Deep-seated hatred of homosexuals, institutional racism and widespread misogyny: a new investigative report has ruthlessly exposed a brutalized culture in the London police force.

The Metropolitan Police (Met) have failed to protect women from sex offenders in uniform, said Louise Casey, who was hired to write the report. “It’s not our job as the public to protect us from the police. It’s the job of the police to protect us citizens,” said Casey, an independent member of the House of Lords. “Far too many Londoners have lost confidence in the police.”

Always new scandals

The Met has not emerged from the crisis for years. The case of Sarah Everard is symbolic. The fact that a police officer kidnapped the 33-year-old in March 2021 using his service ID and then raped and murdered him deeply shook the reputation of the bobbys – the friendly nickname of the British security police, with whom tourists like to pose.

But even after the perpetrator was sentenced to life imprisonment, new scandals kept coming to light. As recently as February, an officer who served in the same unit as the Everard killer was sentenced to decades in prison for having repeatedly raped and abused a dozen women over a period of nearly 20 years.

The murderer and the serial rapist in uniform are by no means isolated cases, as Enlightener Casey made clear. When asked if there could be more criminal officials at the Met, the former government worker replied, “I can’t give you enough assurances that there aren’t.”

sexism, racism and homophobia

It was only announced on Monday that more than 100 police officers who are being investigated for sexual misconduct are on regular duty. Casey’s 363-page report makes it clear that violence against women and girls was not taken as seriously as other forms of violence – bullying was also common within the Met.

“Female civil servants and employees are routinely confronted with sexism and misogyny,” it says. “The Met has not protected its women employees or members of the public from perpetrators in the police force who use domestic violence, nor from those who abuse their position for sexual gain.”

But that is only part of the painful truth. The agency is also institutionally racist, Casey pointed out. This means that the situation has hardly changed since an investigation in 1999. After all, there’s a “deep-seated homophobia” at the Met, Casey said. Her report was “drastic, strict and relentless”.

Hard to imagine working conditions are added to the sexist, racist and homophobic culture. Officials would have to store their evidence in “overcrowded, dilapidated or broken refrigerators and freezers”. Some devices are so full that they have to be buckled. In one case, a lunch box was found in the same refrigerator as a sample from a rape case. In another, a refrigerator broke, rendering the evidence stored there unusable. Most of the workforce is overworked and inexperienced.

Casey calls for ‘complete overhaul’

Especially in the case of domestic violence, the number of cases is not manageable, victims are not sufficiently supported, it is said. “That has exacerbated the decoupling from Londoners.” The residents of the British capital are the ones who suffer. An investigation report by the supervisory authority HMICFRS came to similar conclusions in autumn.

Accordingly, the detection rate for rapes and burglaries is miserable, but the number of criminals in uniform is high. Recruitment is not being adequately checked – probably also because, after a radical wave of cuts, recruitment has been taking place on a broad scale for a few years now.

London’s chief police officer, Mark Rowley, who has been at the head of the Met for six months, is now more responsible than ever. Since taking office, the Commissioner has made it clear that he will crack down on corrupt and violent police officers. He wouldn’t be surprised if two to three officers end up in court every week, Rowley said in January.

With the latest report, the Met is finally being put to the test, and there was talk of a “last chance” beforehand. Now Casey called for a “complete overhaul” of the agency. Casey’s conclusion: If the troupe does not reform, it is threatened with dissolution.