The Casey report: another scandal for the MET Police
On the 7th March 2023, the MET police were put under scrutiny following the independent review by Baroness Louise Casey. Until today the reform of the MET is at the top of the city’s Major and the government’s priorities. The report was issued after the murder of Sarah Everard in March 2021 at the hands of a MET police officer. Its key findings include systemic and institutional racism, misogyny and homophobia and corruption. There is a widespread belief that the MET needs systematic reform, the reason for which Sir Mark Rowley was appointed as MET Commissioner to rehaul the police force.
Lady Casey’s report has not surprised the public with its findings per se, but with the extent of the issue and the strong terminology utilised to describe the situation. The claim, according to the report and Lady Casey herself, that the MET is institutionally misogynist and racist speaks to the core of the issue: the reform has to encompass all the force, not only a minority of officially corrupt officers.
The report states widespread bias is present within the force against its personnel and against the public. Officers have “got away with acts so serious they amount to crimes”, of which Sarah Everard is only one case. Furthermore, the experience of people of colour in the MET also worsens. According to the report, black women are 65% more likely to be on the receiving end of investigations and proceedings. For now, focused and trustworthy legal representatives singlehandedly ensure these demands are met.
Mark Rowley, Commissioner of MET police, accepted the findings but argued against the term “institutional”, believing that it was a politicised and ambiguous term. Nevertheless, the findings do not lie. Despite Sir Rowley managing the MET Police since 2022, the report’s conclusions weigh significantly on his shoulders, and according to Baroness Casey, he is the right person to reform the force. To confirm that, Rowley appeared in front of the London Assembly committee and re-stated that he is determined to improve the force and that those who “are not up to it” will be dealt with. In any case, he stated that these corrupt officers are a minority.
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