Claims of sexual misconduct and domestic abuse against officers to be examined

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All current cases of sexual misconduct or domestic abuse allegations against London’s police officers are going to be examined following the murder of Sarah Everard.

Dame Cressida Dick, commissioner for the force, announced on Friday that the investigation is being launched, adding that similar allegations made against officers and workers at the force over the last 10 years will also be reviewed.

Officers from the force’s Directorate of Professional Standards will analyse each of the cases internally and will underake a thorough check of the vetting history of the Met Police staff involved in the claims.

Dame Cressida told the PA news agency: “We’ll be reviewing them [the allegations] to make sure that the victim has been properly supported, and that the investigation is suitably thorough.

“We’ll also be going back to look at some of those [historic] investigations just to make sure that the processes that should have taken place have taken place and that we are taking the right management action after the case is closed.”

The force said in a statement the examination, which has been launched in addition to an independent review into the Met’s culture by Baroness Casey of Blackstock, was being held in the aftermath Ms Everard’s murder by former Metropolitan Police officer Wayne Couzens and other cases that have “undermined trust”.

The announcement came as Dame Cressida undertook a walkabout in Battersea Park, south-west London, with two female officers on Friday afternoon.

She also addressed a report in The Times newspaper, which says Home Secretary Priti Patel has set her three key targets to meet in order to keep her job.

Dame Cressida told the PA news agency: “There were a number of things that the Home Secretary has discussed with me and I’ve discussed with her about how we can work most effectively together in the future, but we share the same priorities.”

Dame Cressida Dick
Dame Cressida said the review is being undertaken to make sure the victim has been “properly supported, and that the investigation is suitably thorough.” (Elsa Keep/PA)

She said conversations were also had in the run-up to her contract being extended with London Mayor Sadiq Khan, adding the trio are all focused on “the same things”, including reducing violence in the capital and protecting violence against women and girls.

Asked again about the reports, Dame Cressida said the conversations she had with Ms Patel were “private” and she would not comment on them further.

A separate report published in the Evening Standard said that Home Office figures showed 29.9% of Met officers at the end of June were women, the lowest of any force in England and Wales other than the City of London Police.

Sadiq Khan, Dame Cressida Dick, Priti Patel
Dame Cressida said all conversations between her and the Home Secretary were ‘private’ (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

In response, Dame Cressida said she was “not content” with the figures and was “determined” to improve them, adding that research the force has found showed some women in some communities might be loathe to join the force due to major incidents with firearms and public order offences.

“This is something we’ve been working really hard at for many years,” she told PA. “We have many, many thousands (of female police officers) and they are thriving … we’ve got women in every single role at every rank.

“But I’ve set out that we should be 50/50 and I am not content. We have increased the percentages, quite considerably latterly, but we need to move further and faster.”

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