Met chief urges new officers to ‘confront and challenge’ racism and misogyny

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Mark Rowley inspects new police recruits during his first passing-out parade since taking charge of the force, at Hendon Police Academy (Kirsty O’Connor/PA) (PA Wire)
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Mark Rowley inspects new police recruits during his first passing-out parade since taking charge of the force, at Hendon Police Academy (Kirsty O’Connor/PA) (PA Wire)

Met Police chief Sir Mark Rowley has called on newly qualified officers to “confront and challenge” racist and misogynistic behaviour within the force.

Speaking at Hendon Police College during a ceremony for young officers on Thursday, Sir Mark said there is no excuse for “racism and misogyny” in the police force.

Acknowledging that being re-sworn into his role by the King was an “emotional moment”, Sir Mark he said it has been a “difficult time” for public trust in the Met Police.

He told officers: “I’m massively optimistic for the future because of occasions like today and people like you.

“Sadly, trust has been damaged recently and I want us to restore that trust.

“There’s never an excuse for racism and misogyny, and under my watch we will be ruthless in maintaining trust and integrity.

“I need you to confront and challenge this behaviour."

Since taking over last month, Sir Mark has pledged to be ruthless in his pursuit to root out racists, misogynists and sex offenders from the force.

Following the publication of Baroness Casey’s interim report into the Met’s failing internal disciplinary process, earlier this month, Sir Mark said the scale of misconduct by officers was “appalling”.

Her report, which was commissioned in response to the kidnap, rape and murder of Sarah Everard by serving Met officer Wayne Couzens, says that other problems include white officers being treated less harshly than black or Asian officers and disciplinary cases taking too long to conclude.

“It makes you angry and it brings a tear to your eye to hear some of these stories and to speak to some colleagues who have suffered such racist or misogynist behaviour in the organisation and it’s been badly dealt with,” he said.

“We have been far, far too weak in our approach. There must be hundreds of officers we need to be getting rid off over the forthcoming years.

“You need to take this much more rounded, determined, head-on approach, that actually this person shouldn’t be here, let’s look at the picture of everything they’re up and let’s work out what’s the best way to build the case that leads to them being thrown out.”