Met Police chief reflects on Baroness Casey report
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Murder victims’ families are calling for a public inquiry into the failings of the Met Police after a damning report was published today. Baroness Doreen Lawrence, whose son Stephen was murdered by racists in 1993, said London’s police force is “rotten to the core”.
And family members of the victims of serial killer Stephen Port want a public inquiry to understand “how and why this force is failing people so badly”.
They lost their loved ones after Port was left free to murder three men after police failures in investigating the death of his first victim.
The lawyer who represents the family of Chris Kaba, who was shot dead by police last September, said the Casey review reflects the experiences of many relatives, who “often have to fight tooth and nail” to get information.
They spoke out after Baroness Louise Casey published a major review today about the failings of the Metropolitan Police.
It was commissioned in the wake of the rape and murder of Sarah Everard by then-serving Metropolitan Police officer Wayne Couzens.
Her review found that the force is institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic.
It came 24 years after the Macpherson Report in 1999 about Stephen Lawrence’s murder and its aftermath had concluded that the Met was institutionally racist.
Only two of the 18-year-old’s five killers have ever been brought to justice, following abject failures in the investigations into his murder that were marred by racism and alleged police corruption.
Following today’s publication of the Casey review, Baroness Lawrence said: “It comes as no surprise to me that the report from Baroness Louise Casey has found that the Metropolitan Police is riddled with deep-seated racism, sexism and homophobia.
“My suspicion that racism played a critical part in the failure of the Metropolitan Police to properly investigate my son’s death in 1993 was borne out by the Macpherson Report.
“Since then, despite repeated reassurances that the Metropolitan Police had learned lessons from its failures, discrimination in every form is clearly rampant in its ranks.
“It is not, and has never been, a case of a few ‘bad apples’ within the Metropolitan Police.
“It is rotten to the core. Discrimination is institutionalised within the Metropolitan Police and it needs changing from top to bottom.”
She went on: “I suspect a lot of people will feel, like me, that enough is enough and change is needed. And needed now.”
Donna and Jenny Taylor, the sisters of Port’s fourth victim Jack Taylor, believe the Met would have dealt with their brother’s murder differently if he had been a woman.
They said: “Someone needs to take responsibility for tackling issues such as homophobia, someone needs to own it.
“Not one person has. We still feel that if Jack had been a girl the whole situation would have been dealt with differently from the start.
“You can’t put it right and change the culture if you don’t know what’s going wrong, why it’s going wrong, or fail to fully investigate the root of the problems.
“That is why there must now be a public inquiry into how and why this force is failing people so badly.”
In December 2021, inquest jurors found that “fundamental failures” by the police left Port free to carry out a series of murders, as well as drug and sexually assault more than a dozen other men in Barking, east London, between June 2014 and September 2015.
The Met was accused of homophobia over the failure to stop Port, but force bosses repeatedly denied there was an issue with such discrimination.
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Mr Kaba, 24, died in September after being shot by a Met firearms officer in south London. The shooting is being investigated as a potential homicide.
Daniel Machover, who is head of civil litigation at Hickman & Rose and represents Mr Kaba’s relatives, said: “The families of people who have died following police contact often have to fight tooth and nail to be given the barest of facts about the events that led to their loved one’s death. This is unacceptable.
“Baroness Casey said that a cultural shift is required for the Met to become a reflective and learning organisation which opens its doors and invites criticism, examination, challenge and assurance. This urgent change is long overdue.”
In her 363-page report, published today, Baroness Casey found that the Met is institutionally racist, misogynist and homophobic; has failed to protect the public from officers who abuse women; and organisational changes have put women and children at greater risk.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said this was “one of the darkest days in the history of our almost 200-year-old Met Police Service”.
Home Secretary Suella Braverman told the Commons earlier today that there had been “serious failures of culture, leadership, and standards” in the force, and some issues could take years to fully address.
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