A report of Baroness Louise Casey's review of the Metropolitan Police Service released Tuesday found that the police force is institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic. File Photo by Hugo Philpott/UPI | License Photo
March 21 (UPI) -- London's Metropolitan Police Service is institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic, according to a report into Brtain's elite force published Tuesday.
The final 346-page report of Baroness Louise Casey's review of the capital's police force details a catalog of shortcomings amid a widespread culture within the institution in which discrimination and abuse of minorities, women and LGBTQ people that the Met was supposed to serve went unchecked.
The report found that women and minority employees were also victimized.
The failures and a stubborn unwillingness to acknowledge the necessity for wholesale reform have brought the service to a point where it can "no longer presume it has the permission of the people of London to police them," Baroness Casey said.
Making 16 key recommendations from cleaning up the Met and better protection of women and children to rebuilding public trust and new leadership, Baroness Casey warned that the "loss of this crucial principle of policing by consent would be catastrophic. We must make sure it is not irreversible."
"Public respect has fallen to a low point. Londoners who do not have confidence in the Met outnumber those who do, and these measures have been lower amongst Black Londoners for years," she wrote.
Baroness Casey found that little has changed in the Met in the 24 years since a public inquiry into the racially-motivated murder of black teenager Stephen Lawrence in London in the early 1990s, ruled that the police investigation was incompetent and the force was institutionally racist.
The review into the standards of behavior and internal culture of the 43,000-strong force was set up in 2021 in the wake of the abduction, rape and murder of Sarah Everard in March of that year by a serving Met officer, which sparked a public outcry.
The case was not an isolated instance of criminality in the Met. In January, another serving officer, who also exploited his position, was convicted as one of the country's most prolific sexual offenders.
The Met welcomed the report calling for it to be a "catalyst for police reform," and pledging to act on many of its findings.
"This report sparks feelings of shame and anger but it also increases our resolve," said Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley. "I am proud of those people, our officers and staff, whose passion for policing and determination to reform moved them to share their experiences with such honesty."
Rowley added that the report "must be a catalyst" for reform.
"This report needs to lead to meaningful change. If it only leads to pillory and blame of the exceptional majority of officers then only criminals will benefit," he said. "We need it to galvanize Londoners, the dedicated police majority and politicians to coalesce around reform and the renewal of policing by consent for the 21st century."
Home Secretary Suella Braverman, who together with the city's mayor appoints the Met commissioner, threw her weight behind Rowley.
"It is clear that there have been serious failures of culture and leadership in the Metropolitan police. I will continue to hold the commissioner to account to deliver a wholesale change in the force's culture," she said.
But Labor opposition leader Keir Starmer, formerly the country's top prosecutor, condemned police leadership.
"The racist, sexist and homophobic abuses of power that have run rife in the Metropolitan police have shattered the trust that Britain's policing relies on and let victims down," he said. "For 13 years there has been a void of leadership from the Home Office, which has seen Britain's policing fall far below the standards the public have the right to expect."