12% of female officers have been harassed or assaulted in the workplace, and reports have been covered up or downplayed by senior management. In addition, several officers suspected of serious crimes, including sexual assault and domestic abuse, have not been convicted, as well as hundreds of racist or corrupt officers have been left in their departments.
The official report on the English police drawn up by Baroness Louise Casey, commissioned by the then Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Cressida Dick to conduct the investigation into Scotland Yard, is merciless. The body of law enforcement is defined as a “macho club” in which “racism, misogyny and homophobia” are teeming and episodes of intolerance towards women, gays and minorities proliferate.
The new London police chief, Sir Mark Rowley, has made no excuses: “Reading this investigation has been tremendous. I feel a mix of fury, embarrassment and frustration.” The relationship of Londoners with the police force is now all to mend, the mayor Sadiq Khan described it as “one of the darkest days in two centuries of Scotland Yard’s history”. The investigation, which started after the rape and murder of a 33-year-old Londoner who was kidnapped, raped and killed by a policeman, Wayne Cousens, while walking alone in Clapham Common park, reveals very serious deficiencies in the London police force.
Among the episodes cited the constant discrimination against policewomen, with male officers showing them their genitals or slipping sex toys into their coffee cups. Some colleagues cut off a Sikh police officer’s beard, a Muslim officer reported finding bacon in his shoes.
In the light of what emerged, Baroness Casey asked Scotland Yard’s leaders to clean up internally, to restore the honor of the police force, and “apologize for past mistakes and rebuild citizens’ trust”.
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