Met Police Commissioner says he has not ‘shirked’ from Baroness Casey report

Sir Mark Rowley said the Metropolitan Police is ‘on a big reform plan’ following the Baroness Casey report, published in March.

Hannah Roberts
Wednesday 19 July 2023 18:50 BST
Sir Mark Rowley said he understands Mina Smallman’s view (Jordan Pettitt/PA)
Sir Mark Rowley said he understands Mina Smallman’s view (Jordan Pettitt/PA) (PA Wire)

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley said he has not “shirked away from anything” found in a report which said the force was “institutionally racist”.

Following the report, led by Baroness Louise Casey and published in March, Sir Mark said he would not use the term “institutional” and told reporters that he needed to use language “that’s unambiguous and is apolitical”.

It comes as Mina Smallman, mother to two daughters murdered in Wembley, north London, called for more black officers to be deployed by the Metropolitan Police in local communities.

Ms Smallman also told the PA news agency that it was a “huge disappointment” that Sir Mark refused to accept  “institutional racism” in the force.

Ms Smallman’s daughters, Nicole Smallman and Bibaa Henry, were stabbed to death while in a park in Wembley in June 2020.

Former Met constables Deniz Jaffer and Jamie Lewis shared photographs of the women’s bodies on WhatsApp and were subsequently jailed for two years and nine months each in December 2021.

Asked about Ms Smallman’s disappointment, Sir Mark told PA: “I completely understand Mina’s view.

“I haven’t shirked away from anything that Baroness Casey has said.

“I completely accept her diagnosis and that’s why we’re on a big reform plan.”

On Monday the Met announced plans to overhaul the force with a £366 million two-year scheme, dubbed A New Met for London.

The plan includes a recruitment campaign which Sir Mark says is encouraging diversity through advertisements that showcase ordinary frontline officers.

Sir Mark told PA: “The adverts that people will see are ordinary frontline officers, some of our fantastic men and women and what they show is, this is a job with a real purpose, where you can make a massive difference to communities.

“They’re showing how much they enjoy the job and that will attract others in and what people will see is that we are an increasingly diverse organisation.”

According to Met Police figures from the end of May, 17.2% of the Met’s full time police officers are black, Asian or mixed ethnic heritage, whilst 30.7% of the Met’s police officers are female.

The campaign has launched in the same week as the newly formed independent Alliance For Police Accountability (APA) organisation which aims to tackle racist, misogynistic and homophobic policing.

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