A damning new report into London's Metropolitan Police Service has found widespread sexism, racism, homophobia and bullying - with a female officer who reported abuse and rape from a colleague saying if the same thing happened again: "I wouldn’t report it to the police".
The Baroness Casey Review into the Standards of Behaviour and Internal Culture of the Met released its report on Tuesday, in what London mayor Sadiq Khan described as "one of the darkest days" in the force's history after it emerged officers were fearful of speaking out against colleagues.
"Those who speak up in the Met learn the hard way that there are adverse consequences for themselves, for their careers, and for their teams," the report said.
'He smacked me round the face... he raped me'
One case study shared by the review highlights the scale of abusive behaviour left unchecked.
The female officer described a campaign of abuse be a male colleague who abused and raped her while the pair were dating, later using police systems to find out which cases she was working on and who she was working with.
“He smacked me round the face, I lost consciousness, he raped me. I had a black eye, a split lip," the woman, Case Study "A" told the review, ending her relationship with the officer ("X") following the violent attack.
Fearful of reporting the incident to her superiors, but aware that the abuse within the relationship was an "open secret" on their team, A said she did not want to work with X any longer but her request was ignored.
After reporting the abuse months later, the Met failed to act to protect A. A senior officer asked her: “Once this is all done and dusted, you’ll be fine to work on the same team as him won’t you?”
The case was dismissed, and A said: “I was told under no circumstances would he be moved. I was told that if I wanted to get away from him I would have to move. They moved me to the other side of London.”
After moving, A reported being stalked, having her tyres slashed and having her door broken down by police after they received a fake phone call saying she had collapsed inside her home.
An internal investigation, which was opened after A raised a grievance, lasted more than a year and was passed around to six investigating officers before being dropped.
"I had tried to kill myself that year because of the police investigation, it was draining the life out of me," A said.
The officer's case was dropped days before the Met Police spoke out about the murder of Sarah Everard.
"The Met was coming out saying ‘we hate violence against women and girls, we stand against this’, and I was thinking no you don’t," A added of the Met's response to the high-profile murder of the young Londoner at the hands of a serving Met Police officer.
A said she has continued to encounter her abuser at work, with the Met denying A's request to let her know when she will be working with the man who has been the subject of two investigations prompted by her complaints.
“I don’t know how much longer I’ve got, there’s only so much a human being can take…I’m struggling with how I’m supposed to lead a team when I don’t believe in the organisation…I know there are really good people in the Met, but I don’t see them, it feels like a lonely place trying to forge this change and a better Met. It feels very lonely trying to do that. And I’ll be ridiculed by my male officers trying to do that. They say they’ve never experienced any of this," she said.
“If I went through the same things I went through back then I would 100% not report it and I would advise my friends and family not to either. It’s not worth it. I wouldn’t report it to the police.”
Among the myriad reports of abuse and bullying highlighting in the report, another case study by a female officer "D", who reported a colleague over coercive control, was told her complaints were a civil matter and said she now has to be escorted to and from her car at work to feel safe.
Other female officers told the review of abuse, grooming and general misogyny in the workplace - where sexist incidents were dismissed as "banter" and women's concerns ignored or belittled.
One serving male officer reported he had so little faith in his "laddish" co-workers he took routes to avoid them while off-duty. The openly gay police officer said: "This will sound quite laughable. I am scared of the police. I don’t trust my own organisation."