Casey Report finds the Met to be institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic

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Casey Report finds the Met to be institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic

Post by Fishnut » Tue Mar 21, 2023 9:20 am

There's been lots of threads on the failings of the Met police (and beyond) - but the publication of the report offers a good opportunity to bring them all together.

The report can be found here. It is damning.

It concludes that there are systemic and fundamental problems in how the Met is run; that it has failed to manage the integrity of its own police service; that it has a culture of hubris, defensiveness and denial; that it lacks accountability and transparency; and that it tolerates discrimination. Ultimately, it concludes that the Met's ability to police by consent is broken and that there is institutional racism, sexism and homophobia.

As I discussed here, the Macpherson report also found institutional racism and a review published in 2015, still found "persistent, deep rooted and unjustified racial disparities in key areas." I mention this because, as if offering a perfect example of the culture of "defensiveness and denial" that the report describes, the force's commissioner Sir Mark Rowley, denies any institutional problems:
He said he accepted Casey’s factual findings about racism, misogyny and homophobia in his organisation and they were systemic, but neither he nor the Met would accept they were “institutional”, claiming it was a political term...

[Rowley] said: “I have to use practical, unambiguous, apolitical language … I don’t think it fits those criteria.

“It’s simply a term I’m not going to use myself.”

Asked if he was not accepting the finding, Rowley said: “I’m accepting we have racists, misogynists. I’m accepting, we’ve got systemic failings, management failings, cultural failings.

“This is about an organisation that needs to become determinedly anti-racist, anti-misogynist, anti-homophobic. “I’m not going to use a label myself that is both ambiguous and politicised.”
In the same article, and offering an incredible example of the hubris and lack of humility described, Ken Marsh, chairman of the Police Federation, said about the fears that further serious sexual offenders could be lurking within the met,
“I think it is a bit disingenuous to say there could be another David Carrick or Wayne Couzens in the Met police.

“I don’t think we will see another person like that in the police.”
He goes on to exemplify the 'optimism bias' described by insisting any failures are a result of a few 'bad apples' (a phrase so ubiquitous in Met terminology it comes up 8 times in the report) rather than a result of systemic problems,
He added: “We absolutely accept the findings but we have to be a little bit careful here. Are we saying every Met police officer is racist and homophobic? That is quite dangerous.
I know that the report has only just been published, but the reactions to it so far from those in the Met are so typical that they have literally been described in its opening pages. It seems highly likely that another finding will be their main response,
‘Initiative-itis’: Instead of focusing on getting the basics right, short term projects and campaigns have been launched from HQ without seeing them through, considering their impact or engaging the organisation in embedding enduring systemic change. This particularly wears down officers on the frontline. They experience slogans and spreadsheet returns instead of a single, clear and widely understood strategy for improvement. This is exacerbated by poor management within the organisation. [p14]
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Re: Casey Report finds the Met to be institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic

Post by Fishnut » Tue Mar 21, 2023 10:03 am

I thought I'd go through the report chapter by chapter. I likely won't be able to do this in one go as it's over 300 pages.

Chapter 1: The Met and Londoners
It begins with a demographic analysis of London and how it's changed over the years, noting that there is a "patchwork of deprivation and affluence" [p38] and that London is hugely diverse in term of ethnicity, sexuality, religious faith and income, and has a different age profile to the rest of the country with lots more young people. The report notes that despite this diversity,
The Met does not appear to have undertaken a deep analysis to understand the diverse communities we have highlighted in this chapter.
This means they struggle to engage with and understand the communities they are serving.

It then looks at the types of crime occurring, noting that London sees similar trends to the rest of the country with a decline of burglary-type offences and an increase in violent and sexual offences. The report notes that this doesn't appear to be an actual increase in these crimes, but an increased willingness of people to report them. The fact that the crimes more typically reported are complex is putting a strain on already stretched systems and there has been a "significant decline in the rate at which offences have been cleared up over the same period [p44]" though this is a national problem, not one that's limited to the Met.

One area for praise is that there "has been a long-term downward trend in victims supporting prosecution" [p44] but "the Met compares much better than England and Wales average in this respect" [p44].

The report also notes that a lot of police resources are being used to deal with mental health crises. This obviously isn't the fault of the Met, or any police service, but reflects the lack of funding provided to helping people with mental health problem.

An examination of public confidence and trust in the Met is revealing. The report examines the MOPAC Public Attitudes Survey and finds a significant decline in trust since 2017. The survey asks four questions and report provides example quotes following the 2022 survey from the Deputy Mayor for policing and from the Acting Commissioner. The Acting Commissioner's response is a bingo-card of the cultural problems highlighted at the beginning of the report. It cherry-picks the stats that make the Met look good and ignores the broader message they tell of a city that has lost its trust in its police service.

The report goes through the survey results and shows that those with the highest trust in the Met are rich white men, and the further you are from those demographics the less you trust them. It points out that,
Some groups – particularly Black Londoners – have been known to have low levels of trust and confidence in the Met for an even longer period. This has not been addressed. Rather, it has been neglected. In the last five years Black Londoners have increasingly been joined in their lack of trust and confidence by a much broader cohort in London’s population, including groups that have traditionally held the Met in high regard.[p50]
It compares results of an employee survey and a survey of Londoners to establish why people think the Met's reputation has worsened. The results are fascinating [p51-52].
Met employees top responses:
- Negative media coverage (93%)
- High profile incidents and scandals (86%)
- Poor behaviour and actions of individual officers in the Met (85%)
- lack of funding for the Met (64%)
- poor training (63%)
- failures of leadership and management structures within the Met (63%)

In contrast, the general public's top responses are:
- poor behaviours and actions of individual officers in the Met (77%)
- high profile incidents and scandals (68%)
- institutional bias within the Met (55%)
- failures of leadership and management structures within the Met (54%)
- negative media coverage (53%)

What really struck me was how over half the public think institutional bias is a problem while it doesn't even come up in the employees' list. I'm also struck by how most Met employees blame the media coverage and individual employees which seems to reflect the defensiveness and denial that the report describes. You can almost hear them cry, 'it's not us it's the pesky press who just love to report bad things. If they only stopped reporting on the few bad apples then people would trust us a lot more.'

The chapter ends by examining the Peelian principles of consent and why they matter.
The model of policing by consent reflects a belief in an ethical model of policing. Police officers serve as members of the public in uniform and they exercise powers with the consent, approval, support and willing cooperation of other members of the public. They maintain the order in society that the public want, and would otherwise have to maintain themselves. [p52]
It notes that there are two cycles into which this type of policing can fall,
There is a virtuous circularity to the Peelian principles. If implemented effectively, they result in the public co-operating with the police in supporting and observing the law, meaning fewer crimes taking place, and there is little or no need for use of force or compulsion by the police. Conversely, if the principles are not being observed, public co-operation reduces, crime increases and greater force and compulsion are used, creating a negative cycle. [p53]
But then states,
...we question the extent to which the Peelian principles are currently lived and embedded in the culture, individual behaviours and attitudes in the Met. [p55]
It compares and contrasts the Met's actions against the nine Peelian principles (listed on p55) and finds many failings, particularly when compared against the Met's interactions with Black communities, and especially when compared with their actions during Stop and Search.

The chapter concludes,
The Met purports to hold the Peelian principles as the cornerstone of policing. But on a day-to-day basis, it is not living the values enshrined in those principles. It often seems to consider itself above the public, not seeking to win their respect and approval or securing their willing co-operation. Too often, the Met seems to act in its own self-interest rather than the interests of the public it serves.

In 2022, public confidence in the Met to do a good job locally fell below 50% for the first time. This must be a wake-up call that policing by consent needs a reset. [p58]
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Re: Casey Report finds the Met to be institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic

Post by jimbob » Tue Mar 21, 2023 10:05 am

Don't forget that she also said the Met should accept it is institutionally corrupt, as branded in 2021 by the official inquiry into the murder of the private eye Daniel Morgan, and which, almost to highlight your points, the Met rejected.
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Re: Casey Report finds the Met to be institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic

Post by Fishnut » Tue Mar 21, 2023 10:43 am

Chapter 2: The Met’s resources and its response to austerity
The Met is by far the largest police force in the country and consumes 25% of the total police budget for England and Wales. It has over 47,000 officers and staff and about 75% of the budget goes on their pay and overtime. Some funding, such as for counter terrorism and protecting the Palace of Westminster is ring-fenced and distorts the picture to make it seem like the funding cuts due to austerity are smaller than they are. Adjusting for inflation, the budget is 18% lower than at the start of the previous decade.

This has had a significant impact on recruitment, with it being paused on several occasions due to budget constraints. There have been some improvements in terms of gender and ethnicity of recruits, but it's still well below representative. The proportion of women rose from 24% in 2012-13 to 29% in 2021-22 while in the same period officers from Black and ethnic minority backgrounds rose from 10% to 16. To reflect London's demographics, 51.5% would need to be women and 46.2% would need to be from Black and ethnic minority backgrounds. The report notes that mid and upper tier ranks are still overwhelmingly White and male.

N.B. The comparisons below are between financial years 2012-13 and 2021-22.

To deal with the budget impacts of austerity, the Met responded by cutting staff in many areas. Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) went from 5% of the workforce to 2% . PCSOs were seen as an "effective route and means of gaining experience for subsequent employment as a warranted officer" [p65] but that pipeline has been weakened by these cuts.

Civilian staff have gone from 25% of the workforce to 21%.
These reductions have created higher administrative burdens for warranted officers and reduced levels of specialist support. For example, there are fewer human resources professionals to confidently address relevant issues and fewer analysts to assist in dealing with rape and sexual offences. [p65]
Special constables have gone from 10% to 4% of the workforce. They aren't even paid!

There's been a lot of 'estates rationalisation' - selling off buildings and contracting out services including HR. A lot of these changes have had negative impacts with the only positive being a short-term financial gain.

Frontline policing was restructured but it seems this was done poorly with little consideration of short-term absences such as holidays or sick leave when staffing levels were established. It seems like frontline policing is undervalued within the Met, with many officers believing "they will make better career progress if they move to a specialist unit.'' [p68].

The report found that the level of support for officers fell significantly during austerity,
In 2012-13, every 6 warranted officers in London had the support of four civilian staff, PCSOs or Specials. By 2022-23, that ratio had changed so that every seven warranted officers had the support of fewer than three staff, PCSOs or Specials [p71]
In the same period, overtime increased by over 50%, going from $101 million to £153 million. While the report doesn't do any budgetary comparisons it seems unlikely to me that this loss of staff had any significant impact on the budgets overall.
Combined with the significant reduction of uniformed PCSOs and Specials described earlier, a reduction in neighbourhood and ‘beat’ policing, and changes in the demand and approach to prioritisation of crimes, the visibility of police officers to Londoners seems to have reduced significantly. Some officers described such changes to the Review as key contributory factors in the decline in successful crime prevention and detection and the loss of public confidence.

This shrinking of the visible ‘blue line’ in London has coincided with, and in part, been exacerbated by, the London Boroughs having to reduce their spending on community safety by 42% between 2010 and 2016. To date, this has not fully recovered. London Boroughs’ spending on crime reduction within this fell even more dramatically – by 58%...
It seems that the Met has no real idea how to create a workforce plan,
We saw no evidence that the Met had an evidence-based approach to its workforce planning that took account of past, existing or predicted demand. We found this particularly strange given the strength of views expressed by front line officers and the senior leadership of the Met that demand was changing, becoming increasingly complex, and that more time was being consumed dealing with wider societal and mental health issues.

The Mayor told the Review that he had asked the former Commissioner to provide an evidenced case for the number of officers required to police London but that the Commissioner had been unable to provide this...

We asked the Met for an explanation of how the figure of 6,000 [new recruits it said it needed in 2019] had been calculated and which parts of the Met would benefit, but were only provided with limited information on where new recruits had been allocated to date. This lack of foresight and planning is a feature of the Met...

We found it worrying that such planning was absent when considering the amount of money spent by the Met on human resources, and its heavy and growing use of and expenditure on contracted out services and consultants. [p73-74]
If I was reading the report just for myself I'd be tempted to skip this chapter but I'm so glad I didn't. I'm astonished that they are seemingly plucking numbers out of the air about the number of recruits they need, and made cuts without considering how they impact other areas of the budget.

There is a section I haven't quoted yet that starts at the bottom of page 68 that I really recommend people check out. It's about a report that Casey clearly isn't impressed with.
We were disappointed with the quality of the evaluation. It felt retrospective in its application, not founded on a clear evaluation process built into the model from the start. The conclusions reached seemed driven by a predetermined view that there was no option but to press ahead with the concept.
It really is a damning chapter.
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Re: Casey Report finds the Met to be institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic

Post by JQH » Tue Mar 21, 2023 12:36 pm

Very interesting - thanks for doing this.
And remember that if you botch the exit, the carnival of reaction may be coming to a town near you.

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Re: Casey Report finds the Met to be institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic

Post by jimbob » Tue Mar 21, 2023 1:11 pm

JQH wrote:
Tue Mar 21, 2023 12:36 pm
Very interesting - thanks for doing this.
Seconded
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Re: Casey Report finds the Met to be institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic

Post by Fishnut » Tue Mar 21, 2023 1:18 pm

Chapter 3: How the Met is run
The chapter describes the 'people' systems inside the Met,
...how the Met prepares and equips employees for the challenges of policing London, and embeds and reinforces its principles and values. It also looks at how the Met supervises, manages and promotes its staff, and approaches leadership and change. [p76]
I have to say, the report is written really well. It's clear and factual but doesn't try to soften its findings. It's going to be very hard to for the Met to dispute it. For example, in the introduction to the chapter we get these findings:
We found the Met is run as a set of disconnected and competing moving parts; lacking clear systems, goals or strategies; unwilling to see, listen and learn from mistakes and wrong-doing; and substituting good leadership and management with optimism bias, communications spin and short-lived initiatives...

There are so many gaps in structures and management, and the divides between different parts of the organisation are so wide, that the leadership cannot know what is happening inside the organisation. Specialist functions in the Met have been protected and promoted as ‘elite’ units at the expense of frontline policing and the Londoners it serves. [p76-77]
Recruitment in the Met
It found that the recruitment process is flawed. It has done away with the requirement to live in London which has resulted in fewer than half of staff living in London and only 51% of frontline officers living in the city. The Met has also been poaching from other forces, offering £5,000 to Constables who transfer. Their recruitment ads were criticised for focusing on the world of the elite groups rather than the work new recruits would actually do.
A Metropolitan Police Federation representative was reported as saying of the ads:
“If you look at the video, a new serving police officer will not be doing any of those things. It’s very exciting, I was quite impressed when I watched it, it is a theatrical masterpiece but it’s not reality unfortunately. [p78]
Another used this analogy "Like advertising for jobs at Tesco’s showing people tasting wine and sampling cheese.” [p78].

Vetting
The report notes it vetting being looked at as part of a separate review. We'll have to keep our eyes open for this.

The report acknowledges,
In policing, there will be many people who are attracted by public service, and committed to justice and integrity. But there will also be others attracted by the power of the role who will want to abuse that power...

it is concerning that nationally, no serving police officer has ever been required to leave the service as a consequence of failing to maintain their vetting status.
It ends the section with this call to action,
...the Met should not wait for the conclusions of the review to introduce some simple and reassuring rules.
Arrival and initial training in the Met
The main route for recruitment is through the Policing Education Qualifications Framework (PEQF) which launched in 2021 and requires two years at uni followed by a third apprentice year.
The Met have contracted with Babcock, who work directly with a consortium of four London-based universities to host the training on their sites. The Met is the only force in the country not to contract directly with universities.

While the Met argues that the scale of their recruitment means they need to outsource to a third party, there are certainly risks in holding the arrangement at arms-length...
This training seems to be wildly unpopular,
The Review team heard considerable criticism from new recruits on the new programmes. Beyond the strong moral purpose that had drawn most to the job, particularly the desire to make a difference for Londoners, it was hard to elicit positive comments from new recruits.
It sounds like an absolute shitshow,
A big complaint was the interface between university work and working in the BCU. New recruits told us there was poor organisation and communication about assignments and deadlines, changes to deadlines by universities and the pressures of having to complete essays when working. It was hard to use ‘protected learning days’ as these were given arbitrarily, could not generally be planned to meet assignment deadlines, and were often cancelled completely to meet operational demands. After assignments were submitted, feedback was slow and poor quality. [p80]
Management and supervision
Honestly, my eyes were popping out of my head and my jaw was dropping as I continued to read through this chapter.

Training is mostly ad-hoc and there's no line management to speak of.
Several Sergeants told us it had taken over ten months to access training. Some told us they had not had training at all. Several acting Sergeants told us they could not access training, and had no support to step into the role unless they found it for themselves from friends and colleagues. Embedded on-site HR support was also withdrawn under austerity, leaving supervisors relatively unsupported...

We could not establish any clarity about the Met’s supervision policy of the Met. When we queried this, the Human Resources team pointed us to guidance called Sergeant in an E-Box, a toolkit developed for new and acting sergeants, set out in 23 PowerPoint slides.
[p82]
While the report acknowledges this isn't a problem unique to the met and that the College of Policing found that "insufficient supervision and leadership was one of the ‘perennial policing problems’ [p82] it also makes clear the consequences of this problem,
The absence of good training and clear expectations about supervision and management means people learn from what’s around them, and will do things as they’ve always done them. This presents a significant risk because the existing culture, the ‘how we do things round here’, becomes more important than the stated values and intentions of the organisation. [p83]
Performance Development Reviews
I can't express how f.cking appalling the processes are any better than the report itself,
...the majority of officers we spoke to said there was no Performance and Development Review (PDR) system. Indeed, in two [Basic Command Units] that we visited, officers were therefore inventing their own system to discuss and assess individuals’ performance, highlight areas that require improvement and development, and identify the support – such as training – available to meet these needs. When we queried this with central Human Resources, they advised us that there was a corporate system, but they accepted that it was poorly used and had been under review.

The general consensus was that the system was only used by those going for promotion, and that such reviews were often a retrospective paper exercise, with officers filling in a form to tick a necessary box for the promotion process. [my emphasis, p83]
Another PDR scheme is being introduced but the report recognises that this isn't going to automatically fix things,
...cynicism about PDRs is so strong that this will need to be addressed in order for the scheme to have more success than the current one. The current system went through a similar process of revision as recently as 2018, but does not seem to have instilled any more confidence in the system. [p84]
Promotion
Only 25% of employees think that promotion and progression at the Met is clear and fair. 53% disagreed. Most think the system is based on who you know or who's good at gaming the system, rather than promoting the best people. People can get noticed for promotion by working on short term projects, regardless of whether those projects are beneficial.

Training
This was one of the most eye-opening sections in this incredible chapter. Training is so poorly managed,
... the Met could not tell us how many trained drivers they needed across the force, or how many detectives they needed. [p86]
One person who spoke to the authors anonymously said,
We have no master learning record for our officers and staff. Data is not available in one place showing who is trained in what, or whether they have completed mandatory training. This prevents individuals and leadership teams from fulfilling their core responsibilities in relation to compliance and leaves the Met vulnerable, for example when coronial or other public enquiries rightly investigate the training background of those involved. [p86]
And even if they did have records showing who was trained on what, you couldn't trust them.
We heard on more than one occasion that virtual training was completed by deputing one team member to sit in a room and complete the training by ticking the boxes for all team members. p87
Mental Health Support
One thing that comes up again and again is how little support frontline officers receive. While specialist units provided support for psychological and physical well-being, frontline staff were left to deal with the consequences of their job alone.

Again, we see BCUs creating their own system to provide some support. One anonymous contributor said,
We put in place a trauma tracker...It was a just a simple spreadsheet that would keep track of incidents. ‘You’ve been to three sudden deaths this month. Are you alright? Do you want a chat? How are you doing?’ ‘You’ve just had a baby and you’ve attended now an infant death. Let’s talk about it.’ Let’s do those things...It comes back to my point, we say we have a brilliant OH setup but does it really deliver anything?” [p90-91]
Leadership
The report acknowledges the necessity of a hierarchical structure in an organisation like the Met but says,
Even taking this into account, we were concerned by the disconnection between chief officers, senior officers and frontline officers. [p91]
It notes 'There is no "one Met' but a fragmented system that has led to disconnection and senior staff left ignorant of the realities of their officers lived experiences.

The annual staff survey results show an ongoing discontent with senior leadership. One anonymous contributor said,
“Staff surveys have been screaming this for 10 years, and they say they listen, but nothing’s changed...it’s wilful.”
The frontline force was restructured into Basic Command Units (BCUs) a few years ago but despite their size they have no autonomy,
BCU Commanders are responsible for an officer and staff cadre comparable to the size of many police forces outside London. It was striking, then, that Commanders were not part of the Commissioner’s weekly meeting held with senior leaders. Between the BCU Commander and the Commissioner, there are five tiers of command...

One BCU Commander told us it was “virtually impossible to push back.” Others said that the organisation is far too geared to a ‘command and control culture’, which pushes messages and orders down, and does not want to hear feedback, challenge or even suggestions for improvement. This was a common refrain. [p96]
Initiative-itis
The Met loves initiatives but officers are clearly and rightly cynical about them.
Many of the officers and staff we met during the Review spoke of their frustration about waves of initiatives that are launched from Met HQ. They were not always challenging the intention or aims of the initiatives. But they had become sceptical about the value of such schemes, feeling they were not sustained – here today, gone tomorrow – and added pointless bureaucracy with reporting requirements to their workloads, because they would not lead to meaningful change. [p98]
One anonymous contributor said,
“The reason the Met has so many plans is because the Met by nature is reactive. If there is a problem, they immediately seek out a solution. This takes the form of an action plan. Eventually you get a multitude of action plans covering very similar things." [p98]
Another noted,
"The goal is always about perception, optics, and being seen to be doing something – so it is not very effective as it is motivated by trying to achieve quick results. There is an illusion of impact but nothing is changing." [p99]
The report found clear evidence of this,
We looked at a few such initiatives launched just since the announcement of this Review in October 2021. There were numerous examples but little evidence of sustained or coherent implementation or follow-up. [p99]
The conclusions are damning. I'm going to quote it all because the language is so clear and forceful.
The overwhelming conclusion of this part of the Review is that there are too many holes in the Met’s basic structures and systems, and this leaves too many places for people, behaviours, poor practice and attitudes to hide.

The Met is a large organisation but this is not an excuse. The larger the organisation, the harder it needs to work at embedding values, standards and expectations. These need to be seen and felt and owned by all staff, and integrated into coherent and robust plans, strategies and structures that drive the organisation.

There is currently no plan for the workforce beyond bringing people in, and no sense of how the thousands of new recruits will breathe fresh life into the force after years of austerity. The vetting system is broken, there is minimal supervision, training and development is not taken seriously, there are no training records and the Met do not know what their workforce needs. People are doing jobs they are not trained to do. Initiative after initiative keeps everyone busy, creating new teams and moving people around but ultimately gets in the way of the core job of keeping Londoners safe and prevents the development of fully developed plans for change.

Leadership is not taken seriously and people are not promoted according to their talents. If they are, it is despite, not because of, the promotion process. The absence of clear structures, systems, expectations and two-way communication in an organisation the size of the Met, allows poor cultures to grow. [p105]
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Re: Casey Report finds the Met to be institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic

Post by Fishnut » Tue Mar 21, 2023 1:22 pm

jimbob wrote:
Tue Mar 21, 2023 1:11 pm
JQH wrote:
Tue Mar 21, 2023 12:36 pm
Very interesting - thanks for doing this.
Seconded
You're welcome! I've got to go and do some proper work now and don't know when I'll be able to get back to the rest of the chapters but I definitely will.

I highly recommend reading the report yourselves though. It's very well written and it's had me shaking my head in disbelief at multiple times. It explains so much of what we have seen as wrong with the Met and really makes me angry on behalf of frontline officers. It doesn't always feel it at times but I know that the majority of officers are there because they want to do good for their communities. The system they are working within has let them down and I fear will continue to do so. I don't see how you can reform something that is so messed up.
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Re: Casey Report finds the Met to be institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic

Post by jimbob » Tue Mar 21, 2023 2:35 pm

Chapter 7: How the Met deals with misconduct and grievances
Chapter summary:
Our interim report found that the Met’s internal misconduct process takes too long,
is worse with regard to sexual misconduct, fails to spot patterns of poor behaviour,
results in allegations being more likely to be dismissed than acted on, places a
heavy burden on those raising concerns and has racial disparity across the
system. Further analysis identifies similar problems in the Met’s wider systems for
handling grievances and in the processes around Employment Tribunal claims.
The prevailing culture in the Met does not encourage reporting of wrong-doing,
rather those who experience it fear the consequences of being ostracised, moved
or removed for speaking out.
Not surprising given what was in the public domain, but still damning
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Re: Casey Report finds the Met to be institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic

Post by jimbob » Tue Mar 21, 2023 2:40 pm

And of instructors who abused their position among students:

“[A course instructor] struck up a friendship with this girl. He started sending her messages, flirting. There’s a professional line and he crossed it. I think he ended up following her around, going to places where she was – essentially stalking and harassment. I don’t know if she felt she had to message him because she wanted to pass the course.”

Despite extensive guidance, it does not appear that this issue is viewed as a corruption issue which needs to be tackled strategically and structurally within the Met.177 Poor data quality and inconsistency in recording, and most allegations resulting in no action, suggests a lack of grip
p281
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Re: Casey Report finds the Met to be institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic

Post by jimbob » Tue Mar 21, 2023 2:50 pm

pg 282
Vetting:
 42 of 452 (9%) individuals included in their investigations were linked in some
way to allegations of sexual misconduct or domestic abuse at the point of initial
vetting to join the Met
 Further, the findings note that in the vast majority of cases, this link was through
intelligence, or having been arrested with no further action taken, and that under
current vetting which adheres to College of Policing approved practice, this would
not prohibit an individual from joining the Met
 In 34 cases where there was a link to an allegation, the vetting team in the Met
had not shared this information so it was not on the misconduct intelligence
system
 There were at least two cases which were in line with approved practice, but in
which applicants had been let in despite previous convictions or acquittals for
rape having been identified. These individuals later came to the attention of DPS
due to sexual misconduct.
Lack of action taken:
 Operation Ranier dip sampled 100 cases over a ten-year period. 85% of these
resulted in no further action being taken. While this excluded cases where there
had been a dismissal, it was striking that no action at all was taken in such a high
proportion of cases. This mirrors our findings of cases related to domestic abuse
and sexual misconduct.
Investigations are not sufficiently rigorous:
 349 criminal cases and misconduct cases were reviewed. In criminal cases,
around a quarter were either identified as needing improvement (21%) or as
inadequate (6%). In misconduct cases, the proportion rose to a third, with 27%
cases identified as requiring improvement, and 7% as inadequate
 In nearly half of all cases (115 out of 249) DPS investigators did not check all the
available evidence with DPS’s Intelligence Bureau
 Investigative templates used in other parts of the Met to help investigate sexual
misconduct and domestic abuse were not being used in DPS. DPS’ own
templates appear to be discretionary for investigators
In 38 cases reviewed, the suspect had not been interviewed. This is a basic
requirement in investigation of domestic abuse cases, suggesting different
treatment where a police officer is a suspected perpetrator
 In 31% of misconduct cases, the victim was not contacted by DPS because they
had previously withdrawn or not supported the criminal investigation. Again, this
ignored basic practice in these types of cases.
Patterns of behaviour are not looked for:
 If people had been investigated on two or more separate occasions for related
behaviours, this was very rarely considered when weighing up evidence or
seriousness. This indicated a blinkered approach to investigating these cases.
This had occurred in 24 cases
 IPCC (now IOPC) guidance published in 2015 for professional standards
departments highlights the importance of investigating repeat behaviour, stating
that the ‘officer’s complaint history should be considered in all cases’.179 The
review found the guidance had been applied in only 2% of cases
 51% of assessments by the integrity assurance unit, which identifies any
requirement for the imposition of risk management measures for officers who
have had a case investigated and finalised, required improvement, although the
proportion of good assessments had significantly increased in recent years.
These findings – weak vetting, lack of action, not looking at the detail of cases, not
speaking to victims and not looking at patterns of behaviour – show a lack of
understanding of the nature of domestic abuse and sexual misconduct. The
Domestic Abuse and Sexual Offending (DASO) team was established for just such a
reason.
Last edited by jimbob on Tue Mar 21, 2023 2:54 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Casey Report finds the Met to be institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic

Post by jimbob » Tue Mar 21, 2023 2:52 pm

Definitely getting a similar feeling as to when I read the US DoJ report on Fergusson PD, where I tried to pick key points, and ended up thinking almost the entire report was the key bits.
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Re: Casey Report finds the Met to be institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic

Post by Fishnut » Tue Mar 21, 2023 10:31 pm

Chapter 4: On the frontline of policing in London
Frontline officers are based in one of twelve Basic Command Units (BCUs). These were established in 2018 as part of the austerity measures. Prior to this there were 32 Borough Operational Command Units (OCUs), one for each London borough. "Five BCUs cover two London boroughs, six cover three, and one BCU covers four." [p107]. So they cover a much wider area that the OCUs. They have the same structure and level of resourcing with limited variation, and have five teams:
- Emergency Response and Patrol Teams (ERPT, often known as ‘Response’ or ‘Team’), providing emergency response to 999 and local patrols
- Neighbourhood Teams, which are the community policing function, providing beat officers dedicated to particular wards, safer schools officers, and youth engagement. These are frequently referred to as Safer Neighbourhoods Teams, the name of their predecessors
- CID (Criminal Investigation Departments), which are the detective units investigating crimes including burglary, robbery, serious assaults, gangs and organised crime, and which run offender management and youth offending programmes as part of multi-agency Youth Offending Teams
- Public Protection, which are also detective units, covering crimes of domestic abuse, child abuse, online abuse, sexual exploitation, rape and sexual assaults. Chapter 5 examines Public Protection in more detail
- HQ, which provide the non-operational work on the BCU, including professional standards, co-ordination functions, facilities and communications. [p107]
In 2021 Town Centre Teams were introduced within the Neighbourhood team function "to provide a visible and reassuring presence in areas of high footfall." [p107]

There are some pan-London teams, such as the Violent Crime Task Force (VCTF), the Territorial Support Group (TSG) and Armed Response (MO19) who respond to particular incidents. But the officers in the BCUs are the ones that most people will interact with most of the time. "The BCU is the face of local policing." [p108].

In 2021-22 about 40% of Met employees worked in BCUs. Interestingly, and possibly reflecting the fact they are the least prestigious placements, they have higher numbers of women and members of ethnic minority communities than other parts of the Met. The number of frontline officers is about the same as they were a decade ago, though there was a decrease in 2018-2019 (I think this was due to austerity cuts but cba to check).

However, the number of civilian staff in BCUs has fallen dramatically, from 2,422 in 2012-13 to 409 in 2022. Frontline PCSO numbers have also fallen massively, from 2,401 in 2012-13 to 668 in 2021-22, as have Special Constables which have gone from 4,882 in 2012-13 to 1,587 in 2021-22 (and who, remember, are volunteers and unpaid, and thus shouldn't be affected by budget cuts and if anything you'd expect their numbers to increase).
So while the number of officers on BCUs is much the same as it was ten years ago, the overall number of people working in local policing has fallen by 6,772 (from 28,254 to 21,482) or the equivalent of around four BCUs worth of people.

In the period around 2015, there was a particularly sharp decline in officers on the frontline and overall frontline workforce numbers continued to fall until 2019. It should be noted too that, prior to 2018, staff investigating child abuse and rape and sexual assaults were in a specialist command and were therefore not included in the officer count. [my emphasis, p110]
The report notes,
A proportion of the civilian posts (such as crime and performance analysts) were centralised in order to save money rather than being lost. But due to the subsequent outsourcing of functions such as human resources, we have been unable to assess what that proportion was. [p110]
The review visited every BCU. They found people who took pride in their work and were trying to serve their communities but were overstretched, under-resourced and ignored by those in charge
Long standing officers said that BCUs have always suffered from the comparison with specialist functions, but that their status as the poor relation had become more pronounced over the past five years.

There are no longer staff canteens across the Met to provide hot meals on shift. Rotas are constantly changing. Officers arrive for their eight hour shift to be told they will be doing a 12 hour shift instead. PCSOs wait six months for a uniform. Public Protection officers buy boxes of tissues for victims. Fridges and freezers containing rape forensic samples are iced up and taped shut. [my emphasis, p111-112]
The comparison between BCUs and the specialist teams is stark.
These specialist units remain comparatively well-resourced, well-trained and well-supported, with good facilities, and experienced officers and staff. On arrival in one specialist OCU, the Review team were shown around to see the set-up, admire the kit, the gym, and the special operations rooms. This never happened on a BCU visit. p112
This is a key line that should be given far more attention by those writing about the report,
Austerity was imposed on the Met, but the leadership made choices about where these cuts fell, and local policing has suffered most. [p113]
Good staff are constantly firefighting and bad staff are allowed to do f.ck-all because there's a lack of oversight. The lack of oversight also affects good officers. One anonymous contributor said,
There’s no performance management...(I) don’t know if I’m doing a good job or not.” [p115]
The report examines the 'churn' that BCUs experience - the total number of people leaving and joining teams. They foiund that the churn rate for 2021-22 was 45%, compared to 18% in Firearms Commands and 21% in MO7.

One of the problems is that the BCU resourcing takes no account of local issues.
For example, the resourcing model in South East (Bexley, Lewisham, Greenwich) is much the same as Central North (Camden and Islington). But there are over 50% more sexual offences in South East as there are in Central North and more than twice as many domestic abuse offences. Population numbers also vary significantly between BCU areas, with the population of North West BCU (Brent, Harrow, Barnet) nearly twice that of Central West (Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea, and Hammersmith and Fulham). [p116]
The report also points out that this resource model is five years old, so even if it resources were distributed correctly when created, the model is outdated and needs review.

This mismatch in resources and need was also pointed out by a report by His Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services which found,
Some BCUs investigate higher numbers of RASSO [rape and serious sexual offences] than others but have similar supervisor numbers. The force recently created an additional RASSO inspector post for every BCU regardless of the demand each unit was facing. This isn’t matching resource to demand or providing the right support to staff. [p116]
The Casey report concludes,
This reflects a wider issue of poor resource and demand understanding across the Met highlighted in this report, but in practical terms it means that on BCUs, Response teams are being run beyond their real capacity. [p117]
The lack of appropriate resourcing has led to BCUs being severely understaffed.
One officer told us of a late-turn shift with one trainee detective on shift to cover two London boroughs. [p117]
In one of the Met's numerous initiatives, Response teams became responsible for all non-complex crimes in 2018.
This was designed to encourage officers on Response to ‘get it right first time’, meaning to undertake the necessary inquiries and paperwork to deal with a crime, and not hand it over to another team. Mi-Investigation, as it is called, was well intentioned but not thought through and has become universally unpopular. [p117]
As seems to be so often the case, BCUs developed their own ad-hoc schemes to address this extra workload. However, this then reduced the number of officers available to do the actual job of the Response team (though it seems it was very much a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation).
The tendency for the Met to set up new teams in response to delivery gaps or to show action is being taken on a particular issue created further pressures. Whenever a new team or taskforce is set up, the officers to staff this are drawn from BCUs...

An intranet comment noted:
“The Met's solution to crime has always been to create these squads to appease the government with ‘this is what we are doing’ ‘setting up another squad’ to tackle an issue when it's never a real solution.”
[p118]
One significant problem is that the number of staff "on paper rarely matched who was actually available." [p119]

Aside from holidays and sick leave, the main reason for this was that staff are "abstracted for 'Aid'" [p119].
One major reason is that staff on BCUs are abstracted for ‘Aid’. That means they are providing policing elsewhere in London for demonstrations, football matches or large public events... This is a long-standing practice. But the now-threadbare resourcing model, along with the impact of changes in demand, leaves a lot of understaffing for the day job while requests for Aid are met. [p119]
A Response team from a BCU will be called on to provide 'Aid', so then other teams get called on to staff up Response and it all just sounds an absolute mess. Neighbourhood Policing teams are supposed to be ring-fenced from being called to 'Aid' but are constantly being called on to fill in gaps on other teams, leading officers to rarely work in their actual designated BCU.
An officer described having no time to arrange meetings on her patch because she was so often pulled to Aid and to other teams that had already been abstracted.... Another said that, in the year he spent nominally on Neighbourhoods, he only spent about two and a half months actually working on a ward, as he was always sent to staff up other teams... [An Inspector] said backfilling other teams and abstractions meant the cancellation of key Met priorities:
“Women invited as part of the Walk and Talk initiative had their event cancelled as officers had to be used on Team.” [p119-120]
Their is a hierarchy but due to the understaffing of BCUs the entire hierarchy gets called in to provide Aid, with no consideration to the impact on the work they are supposed to be doing or the mental well-being of staff:
The Review was given an example where a Detective was mid-way through a long and difficult rape trial in Crown Court lasting two weeks. Over the weekend in the middle, they were instructed to report for Aid duty and spent the weekend in a police station waiting to be called to action. No one had seemed able to see how this would potentially undermine the Detective’s ability to work well during the rape trial. To her, no one seemed to care. pp121]
In contrast, specialist teams are actually ring-fenced and aren't part of the Aid hierarchy.
A recent paper for the Management Board estimated that across the Met, around one in four officers are not fully deployable. It indicated that the impact is particularly acute in local policing... The paper explained that this information is not recorded on management systems, so BCUs will appear to have the right level of resource, when they are actually operating at around 20-25% below this figure. [p121-122]
This has led to the significant increase in overtime noted in Chapter 2 but even that isn't sufficient to enable officers to keep on top of their workload.
Many officers find that working unpaid, late and on their days off, is the only way to even come close to keeping up with their workloads. Although this was particularly the case for detectives, many officers on Response would remain at work late to complete their paperwork or ensure a case was handed over properly. [p122]
This is particularly acute in those investigating rape and serious sexual offences, with 80.3% 'often' working in their free time.

The report describes how this understaffing is exacerbated by the high percentage of staff who are inexperienced.
On average, in BCUs, 25% of all Constables and 45% of Detective Constables are probationers (Police Constables and Detective Constables with less than 2 years’ experience)... There is a knock-on effect. As fast as new recruits come in, more Sergeants are needed to supervise them and so they too are increasingly less experienced. [p123]
Despite actively recruiting new officers,
...the Met almost seems to have been taken by surprise by the arrival of new recruits. The active recruitment drive should have prompted the Met to review how they could best support new recruits, embed good behaviour and standards and treatment of the public, and generally maximise supervisory and management oversight... However, some policies and practices seemed to actively counteract support and oversight for new recruits. [123]
The problems described in Chapter 3 regarding poor supervision and management are particularly evident in frontline policing.
The number of PCs who were to be managed by a Sergeant – ‘supervisory spans’ – was increased in 2018 as part of cost saving measures from 1:8 to 1:10. When the new policing model was adopted, these ratios were one of the ‘red lines’ with no flexibility.

This clearly presents risks, but may be manageable if there are experienced Constables, Sergeants and Inspectors above them. But with 4,557 new recruits coming in over three years, those risks clearly increased. Yet no change was made to the supervisory spans. If anything, they have expanded further, with several officers telling us the ratio was now more often 1:12. This has left Sergeants and Inspectors carrying greater and greater risk. [p126]
The impact on the culture of BCUs is clear,
We were told repeatedly that the Sergeant rank is the most critical for instilling and enforcing culture and values. But at a time when culture and values are being questioned, supervisors are not being given the tools to deliver this important role.

The primacy of hitting number targets at both PC and then Sergeant levels – emphasising quantity over quality – and the apparent absence of strategic planning in meeting the supervisory needs of new recruits has left officers at all levels under- prepared for the jobs they are expected to do. [p126]
The report notes that supervisory spans are much lower in specialist unit and that,
This is one of many examples where those parts of the Met that are closest to Londoners are not valued in the way that the more specialist teams are. pp127]
The loss of civilian staff and support services resulted in a loss of the "'glue' that makes policing effective." [p127] Many intelligence analysts have been lost. These analysts "are involved in proactive and reactive operations and tackle emerging areas of risk and harm." [p127] There is supposed to be a lead analyst for each BCUs and 48 intelligence analysts across the 12 BCUs. However, it is rare that all 12 lead analyst positions are filled at any one time. This means "a loss of fine-grained analysis at the local levels" [p127] that makes proactive policing much harder. It seems that no-one thought this was a good idea, it was just cheaper.

The same can be said for HR and welfare services, occupational health and finance, which has either been centralised or outsourced. Yet again we see BCUs trying to DIY solutions to this loss of services:
Officers felt that remote HR support lacked the context to support officers managing locally. As a result, some BCUs had developed their own services, using warranted officers to perform roles which used to be undertaken by civilian staff. These roles could be better performed by a trained specialist while warranted officers might be better deployed on the frontline.

At least one BCU Commander had set up a programme to try to bring officers who had been on recuperative duties for some time into more suitable roles. No help had been forthcoming from the centre. A Superintendent co-opted a PC who had previously worked in HR to use her skills for the project. [p128]
Increasing the geographical area covered by BCUs has had a significant detrimental impact.
Dispatch staff don’t recognise road names. Areas have vastly different crime issues, and local crime analysts no longer have the resources to develop intelligence about them. Alongside the loss of neighbourhood policing resources, this is increasing the distance between police and the communities they serve and making it harder to know the areas. [p128-129]
Rather than working with one local authority, BCUs now cover multiple local authorities, which makes strategic and operational coordination much more difficult.

On an very practical level,
Greater distances to travel have likely impacted response times. Logistically, the closure and loss of buildings such as custody suites has left police officers having to drive further to take prisoners to custody. There are personal impacts too, with officers having to walk considerable distances in the early hours of the morning to pick up cars after a change of shift. Officers described the ‘drift’ back to base, even avoiding calls and arrests, at the end of a shift. [p129]
At every level it's a complete shitshow.
In Neighbourhood Teams, the larger distances between wards and central bases particularly in larger areas, led to a commitment that no dedicated ward officer (DWO) would be more than a twenty minute away from their patch. This commitment was found to be unrealistic.

“It was changed to a 20 minute journey on public transport and then a 20 minute cycle ride. This supposed there are sufficient bikes for officers to use, which is not the case and also that all officers can use a bike and be made to cycle, which is also not the case.

The issue of bike availability was then compounded by the need for the bikes to be serviced on a yearly basis, regardless of use, by the provider Babcock. The service costs were prohibitive, which caused the fleet of bikes held to be rationalised. The contract is now with Halfords.” [p129-130]
This has led to more officers ending up in cars, but that also led to problems because of a lack of cars and of training to get officers to advanced, or even basic levels of qualification. This has been exacerbated by the pandemic which led to a curtailment of training. Drivers with advanced training end up being constantly on call, leading to at least one driver handing back his ticket to stop this.
The numbers of local instructors have also dwindled which has resulted in the Met spending a lot of money sourcing driving courses and instructors from across the country. Currently, officers are being sent to Wales to do a level three driving course. [p130]
Specialist teams operate outside BCUs and their elevated status which can cause problems as they are not accountable to the BCU chain of command.
This can undermine a BCU’s attempts to own its very extensive patch, and to be fully accountable for policing there, both to the Met and to the public.
“It’s the BCU that is held to account on performance for things that VCTF sometimes come in and wreak havoc on – not them.”

We were told that specialist teams tended to have rigid attitudes to their style of policing.
“Theirs is the right way and they do not want it questioned. This is particularly strong in firearms and public order where they are oriented towards national guidelines and ‘the way that they do things’. The impact on the community is immaterial.”

Officers described these teams as ‘parachuting in’. They argued TSG and VCTF are deployed on their boroughs without adequate liaison, without knowledge of local issues, and without sufficient sensitivity.
“TSG come here not knowing the area...they come late, allegedly go to the gym on job time...they annoy the community, and arrest people who probably didn't need to be arrested anyway...My colleagues think it suppresses crime. I don't think it's worth the community upset, it poisons the relationship with the community.”
[p131]
For anyone who's watched Brooklyn Nine Nine, this sounds reminiscent of the Vulture and I can only imagine how annoying it must be.

These specialist units seem to be so full of themselves they act with impunity. And they face no repercussions.
When concerns arise, the public and partners will go to the BCU as the police in charge of the area. However, they are not in charge of the specialist team and are unable to hold them to account. The Review was told of a ten-year-old Black boy who was removed from his garden and pinned to the ground by VCTF. When the boy’s family complained to the BCU Commander, we were told it took the BCU eleven working days to establish who had undertaken the search on his own BCU. There was no accountability and nothing the BCU Commander could do. [p132]
It is any surprise people like Couzens and Carrick thrive in these units?
The Met’s model of delivering policing operations is ‘centrally controlled, locally delivered’. The reality of this on the ground is that BCUs are frequently asked to deliver operations which are rolled out without building an understanding of the practical challenges associated with delivery, and how they might work for the local area. [p133]
The number of operations that BCUs are supposed to promote is genuinely insane. The report shows this infographic, but notes, "This chart does not represent all operations; only those for which we have been given or identified a ‘frequency.’" [p133] and doesn't include one-off, often short-lived initiatives.
Figure.4.6. Infographic showing the policing operations for BCUs organised by month.jpg
Figure.4.6. Infographic showing the policing operations for BCUs organised by month.jpg (17.42 KiB) Viewed 8396 times
This level of central direction in local policing, and a patchwork and centrally-directed approach to addressing resourcing gaps, impacts on a BCU Commander’s ability to truly ‘own’ their local area, and to set their own direction and tone with their community. Commanders are constantly looking upwards, rather than downwards, and it becomes easy for public trust and confidence to be ignored. [p134]
The chapter concludes,
The closer the Met get to Londoners, the more beleaguered the service is. One sad aspect of this is that we frequently met officers who said they would worry if their fellow officers had to attend the homes of their parents, deal with their children or if they had family who were victims of crime. That in itself spoke volumes...

The demands of frontline policing in London’s communities should be the main driver for the whole service and the number one focus for the Met’s senior
management. Instead, it has allowed the frontline to degrade. However, despite an improvement in the Met’s finances in more recent years, and an uplift in police officer numbers, the Met has not yet taken sufficient measures to mitigate some of the most damaging consequences – in particular ensuring that those working on the frontline with the public are sufficiently trained, resourced and supported to do a good job and to listen to what they need. [p134-135]
It really feels like the Met is so enamoured with all its specialist units that it's forgotten what its fundamental role is. It's so focused on playing with cool toys and running around with guns that it looks down on those who do the 'boring' work. I really don't think it's a surprise that the worst sexual predators found (so far) are in these elite units. These units clearly see themselves as above 'normal' officers and their elevated status and the way they are protected from budget cuts makes them feel like they can act with impunity.
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Re: Casey Report finds the Met to be institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic

Post by Fishnut » Tue Mar 21, 2023 10:38 pm

jimbob wrote:
Tue Mar 21, 2023 2:52 pm
Definitely getting a similar feeling as to when I read the US DoJ report on Fergusson PD, where I tried to pick key points, and ended up thinking almost the entire report was the key bits.
Very much so. I keep wondering when I'm going to reach the size limit for my posts, and I swear I'm trying to not just reproduce the report in full but f.ck, there's really nothing that's extraneous. It's so tightly written and almost every paragraph could make a damning news report in itself. I honestly don't know how the Met will recover from it. I suspect it will just stagger on, have some short-term initiatives to give the illusion of action and maybe throw a bit of extra funding to the BCUs, but I don't see any indication that the Met is going to voluntarily adopt the recommendations of the report. I really think the only real solution is to break up the Met. It's too big, and honestly, it's too full of itself to accept the need for fundamental reform. It can't even accept there are institutional biases ffs! How can you fix a problem if you can't even accept it exists?
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Re: Casey Report finds the Met to be institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic

Post by jimbob » Tue Mar 21, 2023 11:55 pm

Fishnut wrote:
Tue Mar 21, 2023 10:38 pm
jimbob wrote:
Tue Mar 21, 2023 2:52 pm
Definitely getting a similar feeling as to when I read the US DoJ report on Fergusson PD, where I tried to pick key points, and ended up thinking almost the entire report was the key bits.
Very much so. I keep wondering when I'm going to reach the size limit for my posts, and I swear I'm trying to not just reproduce the report in full but f.ck, there's really nothing that's extraneous. It's so tightly written and almost every paragraph could make a damning news report in itself. I honestly don't know how the Met will recover from it. I suspect it will just stagger on, have some short-term initiatives to give the illusion of action and maybe throw a bit of extra funding to the BCUs, but I don't see any indication that the Met is going to voluntarily adopt the recommendations of the report. I really think the only real solution is to break up the Met. It's too big, and honestly, it's too full of itself to accept the need for fundamental reform. It can't even accept there are institutional biases ffs! How can you fix a problem if you can't even accept it exists?
From international skeptics.

http://www.internationalskeptics.com/fo ... st14034090

Nessie is a former Scottish police motorcycle officer who has become increasingly disgusted at the revelations since Ian Tomlinson.

Nessie wrote:
Wudang;14033862 wrote:So much for the Peel principles : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peelian_p ... f_policing


Also sad to see the Met dancing around "systemic" but not "institutional". Exactly the sort of semantic nitpicking they bash lawyers for.
If the Met do not like the term institutionalised, then how about industrial to describe the scale of discrimination that anyone, cop or public, who was not a straight, white, male, experienced?
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Re: Casey Report finds the Met to be institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic

Post by Fishnut » Wed Mar 22, 2023 11:12 pm

Chapter 5: Public Protection
Public Protection Teams investigate serious crimes including child abuse, rape and serious sexual offences, domestic abuse, and stalking.
Public Protection teams therefore face some of the highest risk and most complex crimes in policing. These crimes should be addressed with specialist skills, excellent training, integrated partnership working and experienced officers and staff.

Despite the best efforts of many outstanding and hardworking detectives, it is clear – and has been for some time now – that the Met has struggled to tackle these crimes. Instead, Public Protection has been actively de-prioritised.

This chapter shows that although the Met knew it wasn’t doing a good enough job in respect of these crimes, it made a strategic decision to turn Public Protection into a job that ‘anyone can do’. It moved the investigation of these crimes into the BCU structure, while simultaneously removing the vital infrastructure and resources from BCUs needed to tackle these crimes effectively. [my emphasis]
[p137]
If that's how the chapter opens then we're definitely in for ride.

Child Protection
f.cking hell,
The Met had been well aware of the inadequate service they were providing on child protection since a 2016 HMICFRS (then called HMIC) inspection. In that year’s annual State of Policing report, the Chief Inspector of HMICFRS, Sir Tom Winsor described this report as:
The most severely critical that HMIC has published about any force, on any subject, ever...There is no place in civilised society for the police to neglect their duty towards children in this way, and it is deeply troubling that it has been happening to such a significant extent in the largest force in the country.
...
It is notable that despite startling findings, recommendations continue not to be addressed, problems become more severe each year and improvements are not sustained. The common threads – of lack of specialism, lack of training and under-resourcing – can still be clearly seen in the frontline Public Protection system today.
[my emphasis, p137-138]
The Met were required to provide quarterly reports on their progress in 2017 and were inspected in 2018 and 2021. The Casey report summarises the findings form the initial report and the progress reports. The first follow-up in June found that there was a ‘a much greater understanding of the issues’. [p139] but things quickly deteriorated and by the November report 'they stated that ‘prompt and effective action’ was required. [p139]'

The 2018 follow-up found better oversight but incredibly performance had deteriorated in some areas. The 2021 report found 'improvement' [p140] but the same problems found in 2016 persisted.
Despite continually finding significant problems, HMICFRS have only been able to keep returning and commenting. The Met has not listened and it has not learned. Nor has it suffered any consequences for running services for children about which HMICFRS continue to have serious concerns. [my emphasis, p140]
Violence against women and girls
This section sets the scene by quoting an anonymous contributor,
“If you look at our performance around rape, serious sexual offences, the detection rate is so low you may as well say it's legal in London. It's kind of reflective of how we treat and view our female colleagues. You get victim blaming, looking at a situation and not believing [them].” [my emphasis, p140-141]
The Met has repeatedly said that violence against women and girls is a top priority for the organisation. Those close to the service tell a different story...

There are many people in the Met who care deeply about Public Protection but this is not reflected strategically and operationally. [p141]
Public Protection?
The Met has a Public Protection Improvement Plan since December 2020 but the evidence presented to the report strongly suggests there is a "'tick-box approach to improvement' [p142] and 'did not seem to be informed by any real on-the-ground feedback or intelligence.' [p142]

The whole thing is a mess.
We found significant incoherence in estimates of caseloads. Various data sources providing different figures over different time periods, with different levels of granularity. There was no one reliable measure of the number of cases held by Public Protection officers at a given time, or even which officers were assigned to Public Protection teams. [my emphasis, p142]
This mess translates to appalling service for victims of serious crime.
Work by the London Victims Commissioner, commissioned by the Review to look at experiences with the Met, found a victim of sexual assault repeatedly requested a female officer to speak to, and yet was continually contacted by male officers, including a Sergeant who was “rude, sarcastic, and entirely callous” and “mocked” her request for a female officer. [p143]
Given what we've already been told about frontline services, this is a terrifying - if not remotely surprising - statement,
...Public Protection has become probably the most beleaguered of all frontline policing services. [p143]
Staffing and workloads
Despite the seriousness of the cases it deals with, Public Protection is seen "as a role that anyone can perform" [p143] and that people should do "early in their investigative career" [p143]. Despite cases that might last for months or even years, people leave as soon as possible due to workload pressures. Staff can get reassigned at a moment's notice, with no concern for how this impacts the victims or their cases.

Caseloads
Caseloads among Public Protection officers – particularly in Rape and Serious Sexual Offences (RASSO) and Domestic Abuse teams – were unmanageably high. [my emphasis, p145]
One anonymous contributor said they were working on 40 rape cases, a colleague was working on 57. Due to "clear pressure to close cases as early as possible" [p146] detectives were forced to prioritise cases and, if I'm understanding correctly, close as many as possible without referring to the CPS because they were likely going to close without pursuing a prosecution anyway so why put in the time and energy if it won't lead to anything.

Facilities and resources
Officers’ ability to provide a good service was further impacted by lack of training, resources and facilities. There was a lack of skills, critical administrative and analytical support (one of the main casualties of austerity measures), weakened infrastructure, and delays from essential services, like forensics and toxicology... [p146]
I actually exclaimed upon reading this,
In 2021, the Met estimated that 50% of its child abuse officers had not attended the advanced safeguarding course. This can only be an estimate because as we noted in chapter 3, there were no central training records for officers in the Met at that time. [my emphasis, p146]
I mean, you'd laugh if this wasn't so unbelievably serious.
We heard of freezers crammed full of evidence samples, which were overflowing, frosted over and taped shut. Another officer told us of year-long waits for toxicology results and forensic examination of phones. [p147]
Inexperience and lack of specialist knowledge
This section begins with the blindingly obvious, though by now you know it's being said because this seems to have passed the Met by,
There is now good evidence that effective policing in the area of rape and sexual assault, as well as child abuse, requires specialist knowledge and training. [p147]
Indeed, we know this has passed the Met by,
The move of Sapphire and child abuse teams to BCUs marked a strategic shift from seeing the investigation of rape, child abuse and sexual assaults as a specialist, central role to one of ‘omni-competence’: a role that anyone can do. [my emphasis, p147]
The report notes that this may not have been the intention but it was 'inevitable' as the role lost the 'organisational prestige' that came from being a centrally funded resource. Despite the massive downgrading of Public Protection,
There was no proper assessment of the risk to the services they provided or the consequential impact on women and children victims in London. [p148]
The report notes,
It is a sad irony that this happened at the same time that so many leaders, in politics and beyond, were committing to ending violence against women and girls. [p148]
It really is a shitshow. So, it used to be that new detectives would work on Response teams. That's no longe the case. Now new detectives start working while still studying and go on mandatory 6-9 month rotations, including into the Public Protection teams. This doesn't seem to be done for any reason other than to 'ensure sufficient staffing' and because it's mandatory officers have to work in these teams, whether they want to or not. It's ended up meaning that,
Public Protection teams had the least experienced staff of all the force – mostly people still in their initial detective training period. [p148]
This not only means that you have inexperienced staff doing the investigations, but they have no idea how to deal with victims.
In a reflection of the consequences of the strategic shift from specialisation to ‘omni- competence', one officer reminded us that a Met murder investigation will receive a whole team of experienced and specialist trained detectives, whereas a woman raped and left in a coma would likely be dealt with by one trainee detective constable.
“What message does that send to the living victim?” [p149]
Impact on staff
You will be shocked to hear this has a negative impact on staff.
Officers working on RASSO have burnout rates that were worse than frontline medical staff during the COVID-19 pandemic. [p150]
f.cking hell. There's just no support. People working for the Online Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation team, tasked with 'viewing disturbing content for hours each day' [p150] have no counselling or any sort of check to make sure they were still capable of working. There are support officers but it sounds like that's not their fulltime job but sort of like your office first aider who does it on top of their normal job, and people don't want to add to their workload.
Those around them shy away from offering support because their own workloads are too overwhelming. [p150]
People are terrified that the victims they are trying to help will end up murdered if they don't work fast enough, they can't comfort colleagues because all they can see if the extra workload if they take time off, and those who can survive the insane workload end up with "'victim fatigue' consistently high caseloads resulted in losing the ability to empathise, and connect, with victims." [p151]

The section ends with the rather understated,
This has implications for the Met’s ability to prevent and tackle male violence against women and girls. [p151]
Domestic abuse
Domestic abuse is a high risk and a high volume crime and it seems the Met has been unprepared to deal with the increased number of reports in recent years and,
the proportion of domestic abuse incidents that were classified as domestic abuse related crimes was substantially lower than other comparable forces. This is a cause for concern, suggesting that domestic abuse incidents were not treated with the same seriousness in the Met as in other forces. [my emphasis, p151]
Fewer than 7% of these crimes resulted in a charge in 2022, and showed a steady year-on-year decrease from 2019. For those who are charged, it's taking longer - going from 4 days in 2014-15 to 22.5 in 2021-22.

The conviction rate is also significantly lower than for other police forces - the majority of forces exceed 75%, the Met is around 66%.

The lack of specialist training means that the complex nature of domestic violence is poorly understood, leading to a lot of victim blaming. Even when staff do understand, there's no time to do use the protective measures available to them.

Despite recommendations to collect feedback from victims of domestic abuse about their experiences with the police, this hasn't been implemented. The Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime has launched their own voluntary survey in 2022 and will feed back to the Met. Unfortunately, so far uptake has been low and no findings have been shared with the Met.

Sexual violence
Casey sure does know how to write an opening that grabs you.
The data on sexual offences makes for grim reading. [p156]
Sexual offences account for 3% of all recorded crime in London. There's been a 244% increase in reported rapes since 2012-13, and a 152% increase in other sexual offences in the same time period. The 'clear-up rate' has fallen from 16% to 9%, cases reaching court has fallen 57% since 2014-15 and conviction rates have fallen from 40% in 2018 to 33% in 2020. Given everything we've heard so far these figures aren't surprising - increased reporting and decreased ability to deal with the workload means fewer satisfactory outcomes.

The responsibility of the rest of the criminal justice system
While the report notes that the Met is being let down by other parts of the criminal justice system, this section contains feedback from victims about their interactions with the Met obtained through listening events held for the Casey report. Victims said they weren't provided with a proper point of contact, that when officers did try to contact them it was often without prior notification and from a withheld number (just what a stalking victim needs). Officers often needed to be reminded of the details of the case and there was a lack of continuity (for reasons we've had described above). Victims 'felt dismissed by the officers they spoke with [p160] and experienced victim blaming and officers excusing behaviour of perpetrators.
One victim was told she was paranoid, and was asked whether she had a mental health condition. [p161]
Many ended up making formal complaints about their experiences but the complaints process 'further eradicated their trust and confidence in the police' [p162]. There was no accountability, no learning.

This says it all,
When asked if they would ever report an incident to the police again, 14 of the 15 victims said no. [p162]
How the Met deals with rape and serious sexual offending: findings from Operation Soteria Bluestone
Operation Soteria Bluestone is a programme aimed at increasing the number of rape cases that make it to court. It is supposed to test a series of tools and techniques aimed at increasing charging rates and to develop a national model that speeds up and improves rape investigations. It had a number of 'pathfinder' forces - the Metropolitan Police Service, Durham Constabulary, West Midlands Police and South Wales Police. These forces provided a wide range of data that was used to create baselines for future work to be marked against (I think - the Year One Report can be found here.)

The findings were shared with the Met at the end of 2021 and they were, say it with me, damning.

The five main findings will come as no surprise to those who have read this far.
1. Systemic organisational failure – including a ‘shocking’ lack of appreciation of the need for specialist knowledge about rape and serious sexual offences...

2. De-professionalisation and incompetent investigations...

3. Endemic culture of disbelieving victims...

4. A toxic work environment...

5. A lack of strategic understanding and poor use of data to inform performance... [p163-165]
The victim experience
The findings of Operation Soteria Bluestone match those found by the Casey report through their listening events.

Met response to Operation Soteria Bluestone
So, the findings of Operation Soteria Bluestone were given to the Met for them to work out how to respond. Instead they asked for recommendations to implement. Neither Operation Soteria Bluestone nor this report were impressed by this response,
We have seen this transactional approach to the findings of research and investigations again and again in the Met. They develop a RAG-rated spreadsheet, rather than engaging in a strategic and significant change programme...

In the view of the Operation Soteria Bluestone team, over a year after the findings were made available, the Met has not yet begun to change.
[p166-167]
Conclusion
Despite saying violence against women and girls is a priority, it has not yet enjoyed the same priority as the surge in ‘serious violence’ connected to drugs and knife crime in recent years.

The failure to see violence against women and girls in the same category as ‘serious violence’ means it has not been treated as seriously. We have not witnessed a ‘violence against women taskforce’ or ‘violence against women suppression unit’ in London in the way we have for other forms of serious violence.
The chapter ends with 14 case studies which I don't have the emotional energy to read right now. I will try and come back to them once I've finished going through the remaining chapters.
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Re: Casey Report finds the Met to be institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic

Post by Boustrophedon » Wed Mar 22, 2023 11:20 pm

Having a little more free time now, I take perverse pleasure in reading these reports, not only for the coruscating language but also the near certain understanding that it will lead to nothing.

I watched the IISCA videos of their sessions and read the final reports, I was shocked at the lazy institutionalised acceptance of the abuse of children and the weasel words of those whose job it should had been to prevent the abuse. Some of the institutions involved were ones I had been involved with at the time the abuse was happening, I must have sat and drank tea with those abusers, that is not a comfortable thought.

I have read much of Louise Casey's report on the Met and it reads the same, she has expertly uncovered the same institutionalised failings, cover-ups and lazy acceptance of things that ought not to be and I am sure that the result will be the same; a deafening silence, a great effort to be seen to be doing something, whilst the same institutional failings remain.

As an aside, I have read the report on the Challenger shuttle disaster and the official report on the R101 Airship crash and burn: They read the same too. We don't learn, why not? Because people make their careers on moving and shaking and they're too busy and too young for such introspection. I suppose that's the crowning irony of growing old, you get the perspective that age gives, but it takes the way the influence to do f.ck all about it.
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Re: Casey Report finds the Met to be institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic

Post by Fishnut » Wed Mar 22, 2023 11:29 pm

Boustrophedon wrote:
Wed Mar 22, 2023 11:20 pm
I have read much of Louise Casey's report on the Met and it reads the same, she has expertly uncovered the same institutionalised failings, cover-ups and lazy acceptance of things that ought not to be and I am sure that the result will be the same; a deafening silence, a great effort to be seen to be doing something, whilst the same institutional failings remain.
I share your cynicism. While much of what she's found is shocking, none of it is surprising. We have numerous threads of examples for all manner of the failings documented in the report. I agree that nothing is going to happen as a result of its publication. Nothing happened after the death of Stephen Lawrence, nothing happened as a result of the numerous investigations into aspects of the Met and the police nationally, why on earth would this report be different?

That said, I still intend to finish reading and summarising it. I've started and contributed to too many threads on the failings of the police to not give this the attention it deserves. If nothing else, it's going to serve as a permanent reference for us when we have the next Dominic Couzens or the next Stephen Port and the Met inevitably promises that 'lessons will be learned'.

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Re: Casey Report finds the Met to be institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic

Post by Woodchopper » Thu Mar 23, 2023 9:09 am

Fishnut wrote:
Wed Mar 22, 2023 11:29 pm
Boustrophedon wrote:
Wed Mar 22, 2023 11:20 pm
I have read much of Louise Casey's report on the Met and it reads the same, she has expertly uncovered the same institutionalised failings, cover-ups and lazy acceptance of things that ought not to be and I am sure that the result will be the same; a deafening silence, a great effort to be seen to be doing something, whilst the same institutional failings remain.
I share your cynicism. While much of what she's found is shocking, none of it is surprising. We have numerous threads of examples for all manner of the failings documented in the report. I agree that nothing is going to happen as a result of its publication. Nothing happened after the death of Stephen Lawrence, nothing happened as a result of the numerous investigations into aspects of the Met and the police nationally, why on earth would this report be different?
Reform is possible, for example the old RUC was shut down and replaced with a more representative police force.

But for serious reform of an institution like the Met to happen it would need to be driven by the Prime Minister. The problem is that politically it would be very risky - the reforms would be blamed on anything that goes wrong.

There's some apparently decent research on public attitudes and it appears that while overall satisfaction and trust in the Met have fallen in recent years the metrics are still positive at about 57-61%, except for doing a good job in someone's local area (which is at 49%).*

Dashboard: https://www.london.gov.uk/programmes-st ... -dashboard
Summary: https://www.london.gov.uk/sites/default ... _final.pdf see pages 23-27.

Levels of distrust and dissatisfaction would need to be far higher before a politician were to initiate serious reforms. That isn't to say that it won't happen, but that it takes a long time for issues to filter through to the electorate. Informing the public takes a lot of effort by a lot of people doing just what Fishnut is doing here, and we should all be thankful for her doing that.


*Feeling well informed and knowing how to contact local officers are much lower, but I don't think they are as politically significant.

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Re: Casey Report finds the Met to be institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic

Post by Al Capone Junior » Fri Mar 24, 2023 11:22 am

Meh. Sounds like the met is simply full of repugnicans. :roll:

Sorry. Sucks, obviously.

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Re: Casey Report finds the Met to be institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic

Post by dyqik » Fri Mar 24, 2023 12:28 pm

Al Capone Junior wrote:
Fri Mar 24, 2023 11:22 am
Meh. Sounds like the met is simply full of repugnicans. :roll:

Sorry. Sucks, obviously.
There is a reasonable question to be asked about how much US police culture is seeping into UK police culture, via mass media and the Internet.

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Re: Casey Report finds the Met to be institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic

Post by IvanV » Fri Mar 24, 2023 2:13 pm

Fishnut wrote:
Wed Mar 22, 2023 11:29 pm
Boustrophedon wrote:
Wed Mar 22, 2023 11:20 pm
I have read much of Louise Casey's report on the Met and it reads the same, she has expertly uncovered the same institutionalised failings, cover-ups and lazy acceptance of things that ought not to be and I am sure that the result will be the same; a deafening silence, a great effort to be seen to be doing something, whilst the same institutional failings remain.
I share your cynicism. While much of what she's found is shocking, none of it is surprising. We have numerous threads of examples for all manner of the failings documented in the report. I agree that nothing is going to happen as a result of its publication. Nothing happened after the death of Stephen Lawrence, nothing happened as a result of the numerous investigations into aspects of the Met and the police nationally, why on earth would this report be different?
Not every reform attempt has failed. You might say Operation Countryman failed, in that only a handful of bent coppers got prosecuted, despite it identifying a pervasive culture of bribery and cooperation with organised crime, right to the top of the Met. But it succeeded in that something like 700 officers left the force in a hurry, and an internal anti-corruption department provided some kind of a protection against back-sliding to those very high levels of internal routine corruption. Probably wasn't good news for organised crime either. Similarly, the exposure of the West Midlands Serious Crimes Squad as some of the most serious criminals in the West Midlands resulted in reform there.

I suspect that the problems identified in this report are harder to clean up. Police forces need trust and mutual support between their officers. It is going to be difficult to prevent culture of mutual support that spreading into the problems we now identify. That is not to excuse it, but to try and understand why it is difficult to address.

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Re: Casey Report finds the Met to be institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic

Post by Fishnut » Fri Mar 24, 2023 7:45 pm

Al Capone Junior wrote:
Fri Mar 24, 2023 11:22 am
Meh. Sounds like the met is simply full of repugnicans. :roll:

Sorry. Sucks, obviously.
I think I disagree. The overwhelming sense I get in reading the report is that the vast majority of Met officers join to help people and do good work, and it is the institutional structure that prevents them from doing this and turns them into demoralised people who have to cut corners in order to simply survive. It is so clearly the institution that is at fault which is why it is all the more infuriating that those at the top refuse to acknowledge this.

I'm not saying there aren't 'bad apples' - there clearly are people who join for the wrong reasons, who want the power that being a police officer gives them to exploit it - but the more I think about what I've read the more I realise that it doesn't matter how good a person you are, if you are going to sustain any sort of career in the Met you will end up having to compromise yourself in order to just get through the day.
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Re: Casey Report finds the Met to be institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic

Post by Fishnut » Fri Mar 24, 2023 9:17 pm

Chapter 6: Two specialist units
This chapter explores two of the Met's specialist units - Specialist Firearms Command (MO19) and the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command (PaDP).
The chapter highlights serious concerns with the cultures in these units. [p190]
Specialist Firearms Command (MO19)
This section begins by acknowledging the "enormous responsibilities" that officers in this unit face. It then says,
This is why we were so concerned with what we encountered.

By visiting the Command, taking personal accounts from current and former officers and staff, and analysing data, the Review developed a picture of a deeply troubling, toxic culture at MO19, the Metropolitan Police Service’s Specialist Firearms Command.
“It's the most toxic, racist, sexist place I've ever worked...it's just an unbelievable place.”
[p190-191]
Who runs MO19?
If I understand correctly not everyone in the Command Unit has permission to carry a firearm. Those that do have a 'blue card'. I think that junior officers are the ones who generally have blue cards, with those in more senior positions do the behind-the-scenes stuff. As a result of their blue cards these junior officers "hold undue influence and elevated reputations" [p191], setting the tone of the unit and talking "openly about the power they hold over the Command" [p191].

Terms like "inner circle", "clique", "boys club" and "power couples" [p191] are used to describe those in the Command.
We heard that senior leaders in MO19 fall into three camps:

- those who endorse, fuel and propagate this culture

- those who come to MO19 to gather experience for future promotion and who move on from the Command quickly, either without attempting, or without being able, to affect real change

- and those who bravely attempt to challenge the culture.

Those in the latter category are overruled, isolated and side-lined, or labelled as unhelpful, belligerent, and difficult. We were told that senior officers who had tried to challenge the culture were ‘warned off’ from making further complaints if they wanted to progress in their careers. [p191-192]
‘Colouring outside the lines’
People join MO19 for the "prestige of the role" [p192]. Because the officers are highly trained and therefore harder to replace, they are allowed to "bend or break the rules" or "colour outside the lines" [p192] because if they are held to account they could leave.

Finances
Financially, Command is poorly run. Officers are allowed to "game the system" [p192] by exploiting the overtime system.
We were told of well-known overtime ‘rackets,’ such as shifts for major events like Notting Hill Carnival and New Year’s Eve being filled by officers on overtime, rather than being scheduled as part of regular shift patterns, even though the dates are known well in advance. [p192]
Officers would be required to stay in hotels at times but this was gamed as well. Officer would chose "more expensive options rather than 'look' for value for money" [p192-193] and would chose shifts specifically to get a stay in a hotel.
We were also told that access to elite training courses and police resources were either signed off without proper scrutiny, or used as rewards.

We heard of excessive spending on unnecessary, high-end equipment and kit, such as tomahawk axes and unusable night vision goggles which turned out to be useless in London’s street-lit environment...

We were told of officers being allowed to make multiple, frequent expense claims just below the limit that would require formal sign off, travelling overseas for training courses, and ordering iPads and personalised jackets on expenses. [my emphasis, p193]
The Command is unique in the Met in that it can chose "their own IT, their own equipment, their own clothing" [p193]. Officers are also singularly focused on pay in a way that the Report didn't see anywhere else in the Met.

Behaviours
When the Review team visited MO19, they saw sexism in plain sight. Male officers frequently interrupted and spoke over female officers, including those more senior to them. A male firearms officer openly expressed the view that women can “struggle sometimes with handling the weapons” because of their physical size. He was not questioning whether the equipment being purchased was suitable. [p193]
If they're doing that when those writing this report are observing them imagine what they're doing when they're not being watched.
In a survey of people who had left MO19 for another team in the Met between January 2019 and March 2022, every female respondent and interviewee reported having been directly impacted by sexist and misogynistic behaviour such as inappropriate comments, sexual harassment and inadequate facilities.

One female former MO19 officer said that, when she questioned why there weren’t any female toilets at a training facility, she was brushed off by senior officers and “told to use the woods.” ...

The Review was also told of a number of sexual misconduct issues in MO19 indicating a clear pattern of male officers being temporarily moved off the command after allegations were raised, only to have the decision overturned, or be reinstated by a more senior officer shortly after...

Officers told us that there is a tactic taught to some officers to indicate when a WhatsApp, Signal or Telegram group has become ‘compromised’ in some way, either because a complaint has been made about its contents, or because someone in the group is under a misconduct investigation. We were told that officers are taught to type ‘LANDSLIDE’ into the group (the same code word used if an officer finds an explosive that looks like it will detonate). Officers will then immediately leave the group, delete its contents and create a new group under a new name.[p194]
Training for MO19 and PaDP
Firearms trainers and assessors are the ones who are really setting the culture as they are ones who get to choose who gets a 'blue card'. "They are the gatekeepers of MO19" [p195] and select people based on who they like rather than the best people for the job. They are based in a different geographical location to the rest of the Command and leadership are either unaware of what goes on there or intentionally look the other way.
The Review was told of a prevailing assumption in this part of MO19 that women and minorities will be “sh.t at the job”. We were told that officers would predict who would pass or fail a course just based on looking at names on a list and whether they “fit the mould.” They would bully women to ensure they failed their courses and weren’t able to carry a firearm.

The Review was told there is a training desk in MO19 where men hold competitions on how often they can make their female students cry... [p195]
It's a culture of bullying, with people being picked on and prevented from taking 'continuation' training which is needed for them to keep their 'blue card'. Training seems almost completely arbitrary,
We were told that officers would adjust the content, length and difficulty of training courses based around who they wanted to pass or fail. [p195]
There were attempts to improve diversity but after "some early successes" it seems there was sufficient pushback to prevent them from succeeding.
The disproportionate power and lack of scrutiny regarding training means that officers are unwilling to speak up about these problems. One officer described a “fear culture” around instructors, with officers fearing their blue cards will be revoked if they get on the instructors’ bad side or make a misconduct allegation against an instructor or assessor. [p196]
PaDP: Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection
Nearly 1,000 officers and staff work in PaDP.
PaDP is responsible for patrolling and controlling access to the Palace of Westminster, New Scotland Yard and Downing Street, and providing armed protection for diplomatic missions, embassies and consulates, and events around London such as state visits and Trooping the Colour. [p196]
They usually work 12 hour shifts, and their job involves a lot of standing still or patrolling a small area, wearing "incredibly heavy and uncomfortable kit" [p196] and having little interaction with the public.

Why work in PaDP?
Officers join PaDP because of ready access to overtime.
We spoke to officers who had moved onto PaDP specifically to pay off a wedding, or to top up their salary before retirement. [p197]
You can make a lot of money, get away from your BCU and get to carry a gun.

Morale
You'd think given that, morale would be pretty good, but it turns out it's really not.
The culture in PaDP is one where officers feel unhappy, unloved and bored, and where they are left isolated and unwatched by those above them. It is a dark corner of the Met where poor behaviours can easily flourish and are both “harder to spot and harder to stop”.

The Review heard from people across the Met that PaDP has a reputation for being a deeply unhappy Command. We saw this for ourselves on visits to the OCU and in conversations with officers and staff. Many thought that they were seen by the Met as officers that had failed to get into MO19. [p197]
Facilities are poor, with some that were liable to flooding,
Others were squalid, had rodent infestations or had low ceilings which left officers unable to stand up properly. [o197]
While the lack of officers means that's plenty of overtime, it also means that rest days are frequently cancelled, making it hard to maintain a work-life balance. It sounds like a really boring job and there's a clear inferiority complex at play, with officers feeling looked down on by MO19, and hated by other officers and the public. There's a "sense of being under siege" [p198], exacerbated by the attention they've received due to multiple officers from the Command being imprisoned in recent years.
Rather than introspection about how multiple offenders came to originate from the same Command, the Review saw officers express defensiveness that they were being demonised for the actions of those officers. There was criticism of the media coverage of the incidents and their focus on the individuals’ professions as police officers....

We heard that some PaDP officers, including supervisors, did not acknowledge the levels of concern and impact on female officers after the incidents. Instead some would dismiss the concerns or say they felt ‘accused’ of being similar to the offenders. [p198]
A dark corner of the Met
It sounds like working in PaDP is rather solitary.
The way shifts are structured and officers are briefed before coming on shift means that many say they very rarely speak to their line manager, or even see them, other than for short, functional conversations. [p199]
The monotonous work and the lack of interaction with peers and superiors means that problems are difficult to spot and career progression within the Command seems limited.
...if there are concerns about an officer’s welfare, or issues with their conduct, it is unlikely a supervisor would pick up on this without them being told directly...

Officers tend to stay in PaDP for a long time. They spoke about worries that they were becoming de-skilled from doing monotonous work, to the point where they either couldn’t leave for another Command or were worried about how they would cope if they did. [p199]
Behaviours
Likely due to the isolation of the Command, a toxic culture has been permitted to dester.
Officers said that the low turnover of staff, boredom, lack of supervision and skewed demographics in the Command had led to a culture of inappropriate comments disguised as ‘banter’.
“The lack of females there meant that men just came out with stuff that was quite offensive, and there was never any accountability because the Inspectors weren’t present.”
...
People spoke about the difficulty of challenging these behaviours and this culture. Officers and staff are worried that if they speak out against inappropriate behaviour, they will be isolated from the team, or lose their ‘blue card’ which allows them to carry a firearm, and therefore access overtime and financial remuneration.

Officers and staff were also left concerned that, while senior officers in PaDP expressed a commitment to rooting out inappropriate behaviour, some had been heard to openly agree that they wanted to avoid cracking down too hard on poor behaviour, as this would create a boring workplace. These senior officers expressed a general attitude that what was classed as inappropriate, sexist language could be open to interpretation rather than being a matter of zero tolerance. [p199-200]

The Met’s response

After the conviction of Wayne Couzens the Met commissioned a review of the unit, termed 'Operation Leven'.
The Review has provided extensive feedback on Operation Leven to the Met. The Operation has provided important work on how to reform the OCU for the future. However, the Review found that it is striking that, to date, Operation Leven was not given the remit to specifically interrogate whether there is a prevalence of misogyny, other discrimination or conduct issues in the OCU.
...
Two years on since the death of Sarah Everard and 18 months since the sentencing of an officer for her murder, Operation Leven has not yet concluded. [my emphasis, p200-201]
Conclusion
The report found serious problems around culture and behaviour in these two Commands. It seems that their problems are open secrets "but there was a sense that it either could not be challenged" [p201] and even if people tried their attempts would fail "because of the overriding culture of the unit." [p201]
The Review is also concerned that, despite well-founded public outrage and horror at the crimes of two serving PaDP officers against women, there has not been to date a thorough enough investigation to determine if there is an underlying management or conduct problem, particularly with misogyny, in PaDP. [p201]
These units feel where the 'bad apples' congregate and spread their rot. They attract people more interested in money and power than helping people and gives them an elevated status that means that most look the other way when they 'bend the rules' for their own benefit. Many of the problems with the BCUs seem to stem from underfunding that means that people are overworked and under-supported, and they are seen as interchangeable so that it doesn't matter if people are constantly replaced on complex cases. MO19 sits in stark contrast - overfunded and full of people so convinced they're irreplaceable (and seen that way by those in command) that they are allowed to act with impunity. PaDP is an interesting middle-ground: underfunded and overworked, with an elevated status compared to their BCU colleagues but still seen as inferior to MO19, and prestigious but incredibly dull work that leads to low morale and allows poor behaviour to proliferate.

The solutions to the problems seen in the BCUs seem pretty clear - more funding, more support and go back to borough-scale policing. The solutions to the problems seen in these Command Units are much harder to find. The culture is so toxic and have been allowed to proliferate for so long I don't know how you fix things.
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Fishnut
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Re: Casey Report finds the Met to be institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic

Post by Fishnut » Fri Mar 24, 2023 10:22 pm

Chapter 7: How the Met deals with misconduct and grievances
The report acknowledges that things can go wrong in any organisation, people make mistakes and some even wilfully break rules.
An organisation’s integrity is judged on the fairness, effectiveness and transparency of its systems for dealing with such incidents. [p202]
As the saying goes, with great power comes great responsibility and due to the power wielded by the Met, it has a responsibility to ensure that it has its staff meet the high expectations placed on it by the public.

The chapter looks at the Met's misconduct system, its handling of grievances, and Employment Tribunal claims.
Sadly, across these issues we have found the same problems of inconsistency, disproportionality – especially in relation to race – and a tendency to underplay and deny problems, to brush them under the carpet, and to tolerate unacceptable behaviours in ways that fall far short of public expectations. [p202]
Misconduct
This chapter focuses on internal misconduct reports (reports raised by Met officers, staff or their family members, rather than the public, which are addressed in Chapter 10). They were the focus of an Interim Report.
The Interim Report concluded that the system is not delivering in the way that the public would expect. Cases are taking too long to resolve, allegations are more likely to be dismissed than acted upon, the burden on those raising concerns is too heavy, and there is racial disparity across the system, with White officers dealt with less harshly than Black or Asian officers. [p203]
Eight key issues were identified by the report:
1. The Met takes too long to resolve misconduct cases (taking an average of 400 days)
2. Officers and staff do not believe that action will be taken when concerns around conduct are raised (over half end up with a 'no case to answer' decision)
3. Allegations relating to sexual misconduct and other discriminatory behaviours are less likely than other misconduct allegations to result in a ‘case to answer’ decision.
4. The misconduct process does not find and discipline officers with repeated or patterns of unacceptable behaviour. (20% of people in the misconduct process had been involved in 2 or more cases, yet less than 1% were dismissed)
5. The Met does not fully support local Professional Standards Units (PSUs) to deal with misconduct effectively.
6. The Met is not clear about what constitutes gross misconduct and what will be done about it.
7. There is both racial disproportionality and disparity throughout the Met’s misconduct system (black officers and staff were 81% more likely to have misconduct allegations brought against them)
8. Regulation 13 of the Police Regulations, allowing removal of probationers found not suitable for policing, is not being used fairly or effectively in relation to misconduct (Black and Asian probationers were more than twice as likely to have a Regulation 13 case raised against them than their White colleagues)

The Interim Report also identified four broader concerns:

1. These issues are not new.
...there were numerous reports and recommendations, dating back decades, on many of the issues raised in the Interim Report, including the key matter of racial disproportionality [p204]
2. The Directorate of Professional Standards (DPS) in the Met does not fully command the confidence of officers and staff, and requires a significant change to do so.
The Interim Report concluded that an enhanced DPS alone, with a ‘business as usual’ approach, would risk making the issues outlined above even worse... Radical reform was required, based on a root and branch overhaul of the system. [p204]
3. The system was negatively impacted by pressures on the frontline in the BCUs, and by weaknesses in line management and supervision across the Met.
The Interim Report concluded that HR did not have a big enough role in the misconduct system or in supporting line managers. It also concluded that local Professional Standards Units were under-resourced and under- powered to deal with misconduct. [p204]
4. Some improvements would rely on overall regulatory changes that affect policing nationally, not just the Met.
The Interim Report identified that the decline in dismissals for gross misconduct had coincided with the introduction of independent Legally Qualified Chairs at misconduct hearings, although we did not have the data to confirm whether there was a causal connection. In addition, the overly complex, quasi-judicial, nature of the system made it more akin to a criminal justice process with a high evidential bar, rather than an internal system to uphold high professional standards and maintain public confidence in the police service. [p205]
Data limitations
While the Interim Report focused on the "timeliness of handling misconduct allegations" [p205], how standard were (or weren't) reflected and the "existence of disproportionality and disparity in relation to gender and ethnicity" [p205], it received accounts of unfairness relating to "disability, sexuality and other factors" [p205]. The report thinks this is highly likely,
But neither the data we examined, nor the recording practices on which the data is based, were of sufficient quality to allow such factors to be evidenced to the same extent as the systemic bias evident on race and gender. Better data recording by the Met will be necessary in future to support any improvements in tackling all forms of bias. [p205]
Action since the Interim Report
There sounds like there's been some improvement.
...the Commissioner said he accepted the conclusions in full [p206]
The main action seems to be around making it easier for officers to report colleagues anonymously. Additionally,
In response to the Interim Report recommendation on the legal and regulatory framework for misconduct, in January 2023 the Home Office launched a review into the process of police officer dismissals. [p206]
What review should be completed in the next couple of months. Another thing to keep an eye out for.

Dealing with officer and staff grievances
Grievances are when someone has a "serious concern" about a colleague "but the concern does not constitute an allegation of misconduct" [p206]. There is a grievance procedure which "strongly recommends informal action in most cases. [p207]

Top allegations are:
- behaviour/decisions of management - 28%
- bullying - 13%
- policies - 11%
- disability discrimination - 8%
- racial discrimination - 6%
- sex discrimination - 3%
Black and Asian officers and staff are far more likely than their White colleagues to raise a grievance. [p207]
People don't trust the grievance process, seeing it as "rigged" [p207].
As with the misconduct system, we heard accounts about fear of victimisation after putting in a grievance and the perception that this was ‘putting your head above the parapet’. We often saw that claims of racism and discrimination were not recognised or taken seriously by managers and colleagues. [p208]
Women were less likely to submit grievances than men. As you might expect, this isn't because they had less cause, but because they suffered more when they did.

Overall,
Rather than leading to resolution, [the grievance process] adds to feelings of injustice, unfairness and lack of transparency. [p208]
Employment Tribunal Claims
The most common claims were regarding disability, racial discrimination and sex discrimination.
Figure 7.2- Employment tribunal claims against the Met- most frequent claim types between 2017-18 and 2021-22.jpg
Figure 7.2- Employment tribunal claims against the Met- most frequent claim types between 2017-18 and 2021-22.jpg (6 KiB) Viewed 8078 times
The number of Employment Tribunal claims brought by people with disabilities is striking. The Met has not shown sufficient curiosity as to why this apparent pattern has emerged, and what if anything they could learn from it. This is a source of frustration to people with disabilities in the Met. [p209]
It's interesting that disability claims are so over-represented in the Employment Tribunal (ET) claims but that the grievance data is so poor that grievances regarding disabilities are merely anecdotal.

The report acknowledges that the number of ET claims are small compared to the size of the Met's workforce, but notes that some groups are overrepresented. Women account for 35% of the workforce and 46% of the ET claims. Asian women are just 2% of the workforce and account for 8% of ET claims. Black women are also 2% of the workforce and 7% of ET claims. Black men are 3% of the workforce and 9% of the E claims.

Victims’ and survivors’ perspectives on misconduct
This section focuses on three case studies used to "illustrate the distress caused by the [misconduct] process" [p211].

Case Study 1
One female employee reported a colleague,
...for making repeated inappropriate, misogynistic and prejudiced comments. These included making jokes about female victims of rape and sexual offences, speaking in support of extreme far-right groups and occasions where he had intimidated women in the office. [p211]
After waiting months with no update she was told it was a 'no case to answer' decision had already been reached and no-one told her. She was told other women didn't have a problem with the colleague and "it is probably just you" [p211]. Despite trying to report him anonymously, he found out and,
he has been heard to gloat about the dismissal of his case, and refer to any women who may have made complaints against him as “whores.”[p211]
Case Study 2
An officer experienced domestic abuse at the hands of a colleague. The abuser continued to work in the Met, and she struggled to get the information she needed to avoid seeing them at work.
On one occasion, after calling for an update, she was left in tears after an officer from DPS told her it was “about time you moved on from all of this and got counselling.” [p211]
Case Study 3
A former Department for Professional Standards (DPS) worker said they were encouraged to fail to investigate misconduct reports properly in order to reduce workloads and, I think, improve statistics regarding misconduct. The DPS was known the "Directorate of Double Standards" and senior officers would "call in favours to protect friends and allies from investigation".[p212]

Misconduct case studies: an update
the Interim Report found that the Met's misconduct processes don't find and discipline officers who repeatedly have unacceptable behaviour.
The Met therefore misses those who potentially pose the most risk to others. [p212]
The report "conducted a 'dip sample' of officers and staff with more than five separate misconduct cases against them" [p213]. One of the cases they samples during the Interim report was unable to be included "due to open criminal proceedings, which have since concluded" [p213]. I won't reproduce the whole thing, but I highly recommend reading the litany of complaints and criminal cases made against the officer, who despite clearly being unsuitable to be a police officer was promoted into the PaDP. For those who don't want to bother reading the full thing, the case study ends with the following, in bold:
In January 2023, Officer 1 pleaded guilty to 49 offences against 12 women, including 24 counts of rape. [p215]
Their dip sample stumbled across f.cking David Carrick.

Conclusion
The final case study set out above is a dark and stark warning of the dire consequences when misconduct is not identified and acted on swiftly, and when appropriate checks are not carried out properly.

The failings apparent in this case and many others we have looked at are compounded by a culture in the Met that discourages speaking out...

This is essential to restore public trust and consent. The Met should not underestimate the extent and depth of the challenge. [my emphasis, p216]
it's okay to say "I don't know"

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