'I want my daughters to feel trust in the police', Sunak says after 'disturbing' Casey report on Met

·4-min read
The Prime Minister giving a television interview with BBC Breakfast this morning ahead of the publication of Baroness Casey's report - Simon Walker/Number 10 Downing Street
The Prime Minister giving a television interview with BBC Breakfast this morning ahead of the publication of Baroness Casey's report - Simon Walker/Number 10 Downing Street

Rishi Sunak said he hopes his daughters can grow up in a world where they are able to trust the police on the morning of the release of a damning report into the Metropolitan force.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley said the findings were "disturbing and heartbreaking", with the report's author Baroness louise Casey adding that she was "personally shocked" by some of what she uncovered.

Lady Casey's report painted an incriminating picture of Britain's biggest force, which is rife with insitutionalised racism, homophobia and misogyny where inexperienced officers are expected to shoulder mounting workloads and take on multiple cases of some of the most serious crimes.

Sir Mark said the findings sparked feelings of "anger and shame", but declined to use the word "institutionalised" because it had been "politicised".

He also referred to "problematic individuals" while Lady Casey said referring to certain officers as "bad apples" or "wrongens" was "galling" to families, victims, and serving police officers.

Reacting to the findings, Suella Braverman, the Home Secretary said there had been “serious failures of culture and leadership” in the Met.

'Serious failures'

Speaking to BBC Breakfast, the Prime Minister said he hadn't yet seen the report but that the case of serial rapist and serving firearms officer David Carrick, which came to light in February, was "shocking".

He said there was an  "abuse of power by people who were in a position of trust", adding: "that was wrong, and I said so at the time."

Mr Sunak continued: "There needs to be a change in culture and leadership and I know that the new Metropolitan commissioner will no doubt reflect on the findings of Louise's report, but is already making changes - and that's right because what was happening before is simply shocking and unacceptable."

When asked how he would respond to one of his daughters asking if she could trust the police in London, the Prime Minister said: "Clearly...trust in the police has been hugely damaged by the things that we've discussed over the past year.

"What we need to do is now make sure that that won't be repeated, that we can regain people's trust...There are already some changes underway at the moment by the way, it's not just in London, across the country."

He added: "Those are all things that will help give people confidence. But you talked about my daughters and ultimately I wan both my daughters to grow up in a society which they not only feel trust in the police, but is just fundamentally safe."

It comes as the force's Commissioner apologised  to Londoners over the report's "ghastly" revelations.

Sir Mark said: "It is ghastly. You sit down and read that report and it generates a whole series of emotions. It generates anger, frustration, embarrassment."

'A dark day for the force'

Meanwhile Sadiq Khan told BBC Radio 4's Today it was a "dark day for the force", adding that in his experience as an Asian man, as a human rights lawyer and working with police in his role as the Mayor of London, some of the findings were not necessarily surprising.

He said of the "particularly troubling" report: "For those of us who are Londoners from my background...the report didn't surprise me.

"Our experiences as people of colour, our experiences when I speak to victims and bereaved families, when I speak to gay Londoners, is one where we have been treated differently."

And the report's own author Baroness Casey later told the same program that the cases of Wayne Couzens' rape and murder of Sarah Everard and serial rapist David Carrick should have been "the equivalent of a plane falling out of the sky to create a moment of retrospection  of how someone was able to get that far in the police".

She added that the two monstrous cases were "so symbolic and tragic" of the state of the force.

Lady Casey said she was "personally shocked" at the "state of services to women and children", listing a tranche of shocking findings including trainee detectives tasked with taking on caseloads of 20 rapes, cuts specifically to women's services, and the fact that if a woman is raped and then murdered she is referred to a more competent team than she would be if she was raped and left in a coma.

She added: "I don’t have faith and I don’t think many Londoners have faith."

And she said that much of the horrific findings around violence against women and girls were echoed in their dealings with black Londoners and other people of colour, as well as the LGBTQ community.

Lady Casey said: "We need to clean up the Met, it needs to change its relationship with black Londoners in particular."