Met Police faces ‘long road to recovery’, says Home Secretary after damning Casey report

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The Home Secretary has warned the Metropolitan Police faces “a long road to recovery” following shocking revelations made about the force in Baroness Louise Casey’s report.

The damning report, commissioned in the wake of Sarah Everard’s murder, has laid bare a series of failings and appalling incidents - and painted a shocking picture of the country’s largest force as institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic.

Speaking in the House of Commons on Tuesday, Home Secretary Suella Braverman warned it “may take years” for the force to rectify its issues and restore public confidence.

“The report underlines the fact that the Met faces a long road to recovery,” she told MPs.

“Improvements must be made as swiftly as possible, but some of the huge challenges for the organisation may take years to fully address.”

She pledged to ensure the Met has “all the support form central government they need to deliver on Sir Mark’s pledge of more trust, less crime, and high standards”.

“Every officer in the forceneeds to be part o making these changes happen,” she added.

In her landmark 360-page report, released on Tuesday, Baroness Casey concluded the Met is “institutionally sexist, racist and homophobic”.

Her dossier reveals that women in the force were “traded like cattle”, initiation rites with people being urinated on in showers, and racist actions including a Sikh officer having his beard trimmed, another having his turban put in a shoebox, and a Muslim officer finding bacon in his boots.

Widespread failings in the service to the public were also exposed with samples taken from rape victims lost through contamination and crammed into a freezer so full that it needed three officers to close the door.

In an article for the Evening Standard published after the release of her report, Baroness Casey said the Met “is failing Londoners”.

“It cannot police itself, as shown by its failures to keep out or boot out wrongdoers,” she wrote.

“It is unable to protect women and children, as we have seen with far too many recent scandals.

“It has withdrawn from neighbourhood policing, as you have seen in your communities.

“And it is riven with racism, sexism and homophobia, in the way it treats its staff and the way it polices Londoners.”

But she added: “I still believe in policing. I know Londoners want a better police force.” She urged the dorce to take urgent action to “start to restore that trust” and establish “a new policing deal that is right for London”.

Met Police Commissioner Mark Rowley on Tuesday apologised to the people of London for failures which have heaped “shame” on his force, as he too warned of a “long journey” ahead to restore the public confidence in his force.

He said he was “deeply sorry” for the “appalling examples of discrimination, the letting down of communities and victims and the strain felt by the frontline” which he admitted were both “unacceptable” and inexcusable.

He added that the findings in Baroness Casey’s report sparked “a whole range of emotions, of shame and anger” and that he was determined to put matters right.

But he declined to accept Baroness Casey’s conclusion that the Met is institutionally racist, sexist and homophobic.

He said that while he accepted her diagnosis of the problems that had led her to adopt the label he was not willing to use “institutional” because the term had become politicised and meant “different things to different people”.

The Home Secretary agreed with Sir Mark, also describing “institutional racism” as “not a helpful term to use”.

“It’s an ambiguous, contested and politically charged term that is much misused and makes it harder for police officers to win back the trust of communities,” she said in the Commons.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has warned that public trust in policing has been “hugely damaged” by the failings exposed in the report and that “everyone’s trust” had been put under strain.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said the report was “incredibly sad and one of the darkest days in the Met police’s history”.