IOPC report into Met Police derides "corrupt" culture in policing


A new IOPC report into the Met police has called for an overhaul to tackle a culture of corruption. Released today, the report uncovered incidents of racism, misogyny and harassment within the Metropolitan Police Service.

The response to the report has been damning but the lack of shock by which such grievous findings have generated is telling of the loss of public trust for the institution. Indeed, many have been quick to draw parallels to the 1999 Stephen Lawrence Report which concluded the Met to be institutionally racist. More recently, the Morgan Inquiry found the Met to be institutionally corrupt.

Evidence of ‘discriminatory and offensive’ communications

Internal messages released in the report were used to substantiate the IOPC’s findings. Included in this was the use of derogatory terms to disparage people with disabilities; insulting discourse around African children and suggestions they had been used by one officers father to make dog food; the harassment of female officers by male colleagues which included unprovoked statements expressing a desire to “happily rape” a female counterpart. The same male officer stated to his female colleague that “if I was single I would happily chloroform you”.

Bas Javid, the Deputy Assistant Commissioner of the Met responded to the report by saying he was angry and disappointed to see officers involved in sharing sexist, racist and discriminatory messages and it was clear that they have "a lot of work to do".

The IOPC's 15 recommendations have ranged from the MPS reviewing its guidance on bullying and harassment, to publicly committing to being an anti-racist organisation, and in addition, a zero-tolerance policy towards sexism, misogyny, bullying and harassment. Yet, at this juncture, coming off yet another scandal, scepticism over whether the "underlying cultural issues" highlighted by the IOPC report can ever truly be addressed will remain.

“The behaviour we uncovered was disgraceful and fell well below the standards expected of the officers involved. While these officers predominantly worked in teams in Westminster, which have since been disbanded, we know from other recent cases that these issues are not isolated or historic."

IOPC Regional Director Sal Naseem

Despite often being dismissed as radical, the nature of policing as an institution must once again come under the microscope following the latest report. The inability of the Met to hurdle the evidence of systemic failings it has faced for decades will only continue to create unease. Most sad of all is that the findings of this report will come as a surprise to few.

Mayowa Ayodele