BMENational is a member of the Alliance for Racial Justice – a group of organisations working to address the causes and effects of race and ethnicity discrimination. This is our collective response to the Baroness Casey review into the standards of behaviour and internal culture of the Metropolitan Police Service published in March 2023.
The Casey review may shock and surprise some, but not anyone who has been calling out the racism that has led many Black, Asian and minority ethnic people in London to not trust the Metropolitan Police.
The lack of progress since the MacPherson report into the murder of Stephen Lawrence shows that eradicating racism has not been taken seriously by the institution, its leaders, the politicians, Equality and Human Rights Commission, and the Independent Office for Police Conduct who should have held it to account.
The murder of Sarah Everard and the multiple failings in the investigation into the murders of Biba Henry and Nicole Smallman combined with what we now know of the failings that allowed a dangerous man to murder Zara Aleena have further shaken the confidence of our communities that they can expect to be protected, treated fairly, and with dignity.
A series of scandals involving the Metropolitan Police and the Metropolitan Police’s response – playing them down, denial, obfuscation, and digging in to defend officers without seeming to understand their wider significance – combined with this loss of trust, are strong indicators of fundamental problems.
The Casey review outlines what many have said for a number of years of the Metropolitan Police:
failure to ensure the integrity of its officers
too much hubris and too little humility when things go wrong
it does not embrace or learn from its mistakes
it lacks accountability and transparency
discrimination is tolerated, not dealt with and is baked into the system
To rebuild trust, confidence and consent, there needs to be a new deal for Londoners that’s transparent, accountable, and properly overseen. A key starting point is the recognition that the force is currently institutionally racist, sexist and misogynistic. Something the current leadership appears to be unwilling to recognise which gives the impression the Met Commissioner is resisting the findings of this report.
There needs to be real wholesale root and branch change at the Metropolitan Police ‘service’. Without it, what hope is there for future relations?