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Rishi Sunak fails to say if his daughters can trust Met Police

Trust in force ‘hugely damaged’ after shocking report, says prime minister

Adam Forrest
Political Correspondent
Tuesday 21 March 2023 09:52 GMT
Rishi Sunak wants daughters to grow up trusting police in wake of damning Casey report

Rishi Sunak has failed to say if he believed his own daughters could trust the Metropolitan Police following the shock report which found alarmingly widespread misogyny and racism in the force.

The prime minister has said trust in the Met has been “hugely damaged” and called for “change in culture and leadership” in policing in the wake of the Casey report.

Asked whether he believed his daughters could trust the police in London, Mr Sunak told BBC Breakfast: “Of course we need the answer to that question to be yes.

“Clearly at the moment trust in the police has been hugely damaged by the things that we’ve discovered over the past year.”

Asked if that included his own trust, Mr Sunak replied: “Everybody’s trust.”

Messages from officers declaring “I would happily rape you” and jokes about domestic violence were among the shocking cases uncovered in the review carried out by Baroness Louise Casey.

Her report found the force is institutionally racist, sexist and homophobic and may have more officers like serial rapist David Carrick and murdered Wayne Couzens.

“I cannot sufficiently assure you that that is not the case,” she told a press conference. “This isn’t wrong-uns or ‘bad apples’, this is systemic failure across the system.”

Mr Sunak said he met with the Met Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley and Baroness Casey following the “absolutely shocking” case of Carrick, the elite Met police officer found to be a serial rapist.

“It was absolutely shocking, the abuse of power by people who were in a position of trust and exploiting largely very vulnerable women … it’s right that the police have to restore confidence and trust back into policing,” the PM said.

Mr Sunak added: “There needs to be a change in culture and leadership. And I know that the new Metropolitan Commissioner will no doubt reflect on the findings of Louise’s report, but is already making changes and that’s right – because what was happening before is simply shocking and unacceptable.”

Mark Rowley says he is 'embarrassed and humbled' by Casey report findings

Sir Mark Rowley admitted the report was “ghastly”, adding: “You sit down and read that report and it generates a whole series of emotions. It generates anger, frustration, embarrassment.”

While he accepted that the force had “racists, misogynists and homophobes” and acknowledged “systemic failings”, Mr Rowley said he would not use the term “institutional” – calling it “a very ambiguous” term.

Sir Mark also admitted there are still “hundreds” of “problematic officers” in the force. Asked of LBC if he could say there were no more Carrick and Couzens cases in the force, the commissioner said: “I can’t 100%, no – and that’s deeply upsetting, isn’t it?”

Amid calls for the force to be broken up, the commissioner pointed to concerns he would have with any major restructuring or break-up of the force.

“In terms of shape and structure, London is a big, complex city. It’s an amazing city... To try and break up the policing of that you would create such boundary issues that it would be very difficult,” the commissioner told Radio 4’s Today programme.

Baroness Casey described the Metropolitan Police as “long on hubris and quite short on humility”. She told the Today programme: “They are completely in denial organisationally.”

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