Sexual misconduct and domestic abuse claims against Met officers to be examined

·3-min read
Sexual misconduct and domestic abuse claims against Met officers to be examined

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”.

 (PA Wire)
(PA Wire)

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.”

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 in the Evening Standard said that Home Office figures showed 29.9 per cent 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.

 (PA Archive)
(PA Archive)

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.”

It was also announced on Friday that Baroness Casey of Blackstock will lead a review into the Met’s culture and standards in the wake of Ms Everard’s murder.

Dame Cressida announced the appointment after setting out the plans earlier this week for the “independent and far-reaching review” to also look at the force’s leadership, recruitment, vetting, training and communications.

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