Letter: Reforming macho police culture

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The Independent Online
Sir: Your article describing the experiences of female police officers ("Safe in the long arms of the law?", 5 June) makes horrific reading, but it seems that what Patricia Wynn Davies is reporting is something more than simple sexist behaviour by some male officers.

In 38 years of work, beginning as a shopfloor apprentice and ending up as president of the US division of a high-technology company, I have worked with many women at all levels and I have never seen behaviour towards women like that described in this article.

These same officers who subject their female colleagues to such behaviour are the very same people who are authorised to stop our young men in the street for "routine questioning", to demand production of driving documents after "routine stops" on the highway in the dark and to report members of the public for prosecution.

There are many innocent members of the public who have very bad experience of the police and their "one for all and all for one" culture of covering up deviant behaviour. Ethnic minority and female officers have done what the rest of us cannot. That is, expose the fact that it is time for a root-and-branch overhaul of the organisation, management and oversight of our police forces, including the removal of the responsibility of investigating themselves.

MICHAEL CASSIDY

Newcastle upon Tyne

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