Review of Metropolitan Police standards and culture lead named

Baroness Casey of Blackstock is to lead the independent and far-reaching review into the Metropolitan Police following the conviction and full life sentencing of serving officer Wayne Couzens for the abduction and murder of Sarah Everard.

Baroness Louise Casey is an independent advisor for social welfare, chair of the Institute for Global Homelessness and Crossbench Peer in the House of Lords.

The review will examine the Met’s culture and standards of behaviour, and will assess to what extent current leadership, recruitment, vetting, training, communications and other processes, effectively reinforce the standards the public should expect.

The review and its recommendations will be published.

An urgent examination is also now under way into all current investigations of sexual and domestic abuse allegations against Metropolitan Police Service officers and staff.

Officers from the Directorate of Professional Standards will review each of these cases, including the individual’s vetting and conduct history, making certain victims are being properly supported, and investigations are absolutely thorough.

The detailed examination will include a thorough check of the vetting history of any individual against whom allegations have been made.

The examination will also dip sample cases from the last ten years of sexual misconduct and domestic abuse allegations where those accused remain in the Met. This will check appropriate management measures (including vetting reviews) have been taken.

This is part of a range of measures that aim to help restore the trust of the public in the aftermath of the Sarah Everard murder and other cases that have undermined trust.

Commissioner Cressida Dick, said: “The appointment of Baroness Casey to lead the independent review in to our culture and standards is an important step in our journey to rebuild public trust.

“Louise is extremely experienced and highly respected and I know will ask the difficult questions needed for this thorough review. This will build a stronger Met, ensure lasting improvement our service to London and public confidence in us.

“I hope her appointment and the significant urgent actions we are taking will go some way to provide immediate and vital reassurance to Londoners.

“We recognise the grave levels of public concern following the kidnap, rape and murder of Sarah Everard and other deeply troubling incidents and allegations. I have said that we know a precious bond has been broken.

“The Met has huge numbers of wonderfully professional officers and staff but I also recognise the behaviour of too many is of serious concern.

“..Compassionate, courageous, professional and always acting with integrity. This is the Met I want everyone to know. I ask you to judge us on how we turn our words into action.”

Baroness Casey said: “I am grateful to have the opportunity to undertake this important independent review for the Met and the public they serve.

“Trust is given to the police by our, the public’s, consent. So any acts that undermine that trust must be examined and fundamentally changed.

“This will no doubt be a difficult task but we owe it to the victims and families this has affected and the countless decent police officers this has brought into disrepute.”

Other measures include:

:: The Met will boost the number of investigators to do more to prevent and identify the abuse of trust. It will also create a new dedicated team to focus on the investigation of allegations of sexual misconduct and domestic abuse.

:: A renewal to drive better operational outcomes, including continuing to prioritise key crimes including rape and serious sexual offences.

:: The publication of an action plan within weeks on the detailed steps being taken to improve how the Met tackles the issues women and girls say make them feel unsafe, and ensure a positive, supportive and healthy culture exists that sets an example for all to follow.

:: A root and branch review of the Parliament and Diplomatic Protection Command will be undertaken. This will have a particular focus on recruitment, vetting, culture, professional standards and supervision.

:: The Met is also investing in an extra 650 dedicated officers for neighbourhood policing ‘town centre’ teams. They will work solely in busy public places and other areas, often including those where women and girls often feel unsafe.

Mick Ferris

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