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Who’s Policing the Police?

Following the sentencing of Wayne Couzens for Sarah Everard’s murder, more details about the police and the Met in particular have emerged. As now widely published, Couzens was known by colleagues as “The Rapist” and was part of a WhatsApp group that shared misogynistic, racist and homophobic content. The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has said it is investigating the conduct of five serving officers and a former Met Police officer over the group. While the other officers have been suspended, the two officers from the Met have been allowed to remain on duty ⁽¹⁾.

A Freedom of Information (FOI) request by the Byline Intelligence Team has found some more disturbing facts. Nine out of twelve officers over a three-year period who were negligent in investigating sex crimes were allowed to keep their jobs ⁽²⁾, and more than half of the Metropolitan police officers found guilty of sexual misconduct over a four-year period to 2020 remained in their jobs ⁽³⁾. More than 750 Met Police employees have faced sexual misconduct allegations since 2010 – with just 83 sacked ⁽⁴⁾.

During the writing of this article another officer has been accused of rape and will be in court in November, Scotland Yard said Mr Carrick was based within the Met’s Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command. This is the same unit where the murderer of Sarah Everard, Wayne Couzens, had worked. ⁽⁵⁾

We often hear the phrase “A few bad apples”, well let’s take a look at that. It has come to mean quite a different thing than the original meaning. Farmers knew if they left a rotten apple in the barrel it could spoil the whole crop ⁽⁶⁾, quite a good comparison to the police force. If you have 10 police officers and one is corrupt and the other 9 know but don’t say anything, you don’t have one corrupt officer, you have ten.

Last year in Lancashire an incident was recorded of a police officer threatening someone with arrest, when asked what for, the police officer said “I will make something up… “Who are they going to believe, me or you? “Who are they going to believe, me or you?”

The officer involved was only given a written warning, was allowed anonymity and his partner who did nothing to intervene was not even questioned. If a solicitor lied in court they would be struck off the roll so why shouldn’t the same apply to a police officer?

So back to Wayne Couzens – Prime Minister Boris Johnson had ruled out a public enquiry into Couzens ⁽⁷⁾. But as this article was being written the Home Secretary, Priti Patel, has now agreed to open an inquiry into Couzens but It will be a non-statutory public inquiry which means that the Chairman – likely to be a judge or senior QC – will not have powers to compel witnesses to attend hearings or get full access to documents ⁽⁸⁾. The Commissioner of the Met, Cressida Dick has refused to resign. So, again we ask: Who polices the police?


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