Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), a Police watchdog, has uncovered acts of misogyny, discrimination, bullying, sexual harassment, and exchange of offensive social media messages within the ranks of London Met Police.
In its report, IOPC maintained that investigations began in March 2018 following an allegation that an Officer had sex with a drunk female at a Police Station. The body also made recommendations to the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to change policing practice after nine linked investigations found evidence of inappropriate behaviours.
IOPC Regional Director Sal Naseem said: “The behaviour we uncovered was disgraceful and fell well below the standards expected of the officers involved.
“The learning report we are publishing is shocking and contains offensive language – and some may find it upsetting. However, we felt it was important to provide the context for the public, the Met, and other forces, for why such hard-hitting recommendations are necessary.”
The inquiry reviewed thousands of messages exchanged by Officers often highly sexualised, discriminatory, or referred to violence. According to the Regional Director, the Officers defended the messages as “banter”.
Out of the 14 Officers investigated, two Officers were dismissed for gross misconduct and put on the barred list, preventing future employment with the Police. Two Officers resigned, four Officers attended misconduct meetings, two Officers received management action, and another Officer received practice requiring improvement.
One of the officers who attended a misconduct meeting also received practice requiring improvement.
The 15 recommendations seek to tackle underlying cultural issues by preventing environments from developing in which unprofessional and inappropriate behaviour can thrive and go unchallenged. Included are recommendations for the MPS to publicly commit to being an anti-racist organisation with a zero-tolerance policy towards sexism, misogyny, bullying, and harassment, Mr. Naseem added.
In reaction to the IOPC report, Met noted that the conduct of the Officers does not represent the values of the Metropolitan Police Service.
“We are deeply sorry to Londoners and everyone they have failed with their appalling conduct and acknowledge how this will damage the trust and confidence of many in the Met,” Met Police said.
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