Report Finds London Police Force Is Sexist and Racist

London’s police force is institutionally sexist, racist and homophobic, according to a new independent report investigating the culture and behavior within the department.

While the force has been under intense scrutiny for months, the report, released on Tuesday, offers a damning new assessment of the police department and perhaps the strongest condemnation yet of its inner workings. It called for changes in the force to fix a series of systemic problems.

The report declared that a “boys’ club” culture is rife within the department, the largest in Britain, which polices London but also has a number of national responsibilities, and it details a series of institutional problems that have led to a lack of trust from the public.

The report was ordered up in the aftermath of the murder in 2021 of Sarah Everard by a police officer, in a case that rattled Britain and forced a spotlight onto bad behavior within the London police. Most recently, a London police officer, David Carrick, was sentenced to life in prison for crimes against 12 women over a 17-year period that included rape and numerous charges of sexual assault.

The organization’s response to these and other scandals included “playing them down, denial, obfuscation and digging in to defend officers without seeming to understand their wider significance,” the report found.

Mark Rowley, the commissioner of London’s Metropolitan Police Service, said in a statement on Tuesday morning that the report must be a “catalyst for police reform” and offered an apology from the force.

“The appalling examples in this report of discrimination, the letting down of communities and victims, and the strain faced by the front line, are unacceptable,” he said in the statement. “We have let people down, and I repeat the apology I gave in my first weeks to Londoners and our own people in the Met. I am sorry.”

While the abduction, rape and murder of Ms. Everard, a 33-year-old London woman, was the impetus for the review, a number of other prominent cases, including that of Mr. Carrick, have highlighted broader concerns about misogyny within the police department.

In February 2022, Cressida Dick, then the commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service, appointed Louise Casey, a member of the House of Lords, to conduct an independent review into the standards of behavior and the internal culture of the force.

Ms. Dick went on to resign over widespread criticism of her handling of the problems within the institution. In an interim report released in October 2022, Ms. Casey outlined a number of longstanding problems in the force. They included delays in resolving misconduct cases, and accusations of sexual misconduct and other discriminatory behaviors that go unaddressed. That report also found racial disparity in how the cases were handled.

Last year, a report from England’s official police watchdog put forth a similar assessment of the troubled force, advising that the force address “disgraceful” behavior after that investigation found widespread bullying, discrimination and sexual harassment.

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