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Priti Patel Says Violent And Misogynistic Remarks Made By Police Are "Sickening"

3 min read

Met police officers who made vile remarks about killing "African babies" and "hate-fucking" female colleagues has been described as "sickening" by Home Secretary Priti Patel.

A report released today by The Independent Office for Police Conduct found bullying, misogyny, discrimination and sexual harassment among the Met's ranks. 

Messages were found to have been shared by a group of 19 Metropolitan police officers that included racism, casual remarks about inflicting violence against women, rape, the holocaust, and violence against members of the public. 

Most of the officers investigated were based at Charing Cross Police Station in central London. 

The investigation was triggered when an officer had sex with a vulnerable woman in a room inside a London police station, the IOPC said.

The Met Police has said they are "deeply sorry" at the report's findings.

Home Secretary Priti Patel has strongly condemned the behaviour described in the report as "beyond reproach" and insisted that "standards must be raised" within the police. 

“Being a police officer is a privilege which has been abused by these sickening officers," Patel said in the statement this afternoon. 

“It has been clear for some time that there are problems with the culture of the Metropolitan Police, which is why last year I tasked the Angiolini Inquiry and the police inspectorate with investigating these deeply concerning issues."

The Angiolini Inquiry was set up late last year in the wake of the murder of 33-year-old Sarah Everard, who was abducted and murdered by a serving police officer who had faced allegations of sexual misconduct in 2015. The inquiry will examine how a serving police officer was able to abuse his powers in order to muder Everard. Critics have said this is a non-statutory inquiry so cannot force meaninfgul change. 

Referring to the today's IOPC findings, Patel said she expected its recommendations to be implemented by the Metropolitan Police and the Mayor of London "as soon as practically possible". 

"The public rightly expects the behaviour of the police to be beyond reproach – standards must be raised,” she added. 

In its report, the IOPC suggested that there were significant cultural issues within the Metropolitan police and insisted that the incidents highlighted should not be treated as isolated or considered to be "the behaviour of a few 'bad apples'."

During the IOPC investigation 14 officers were put under notice that they were being investigated.

Two officers were dismissed for gross misconduct and put on the barred list preventing future employment with the police. One of the officers resigned prior to these hearings.

A further four officers attended misconduct meetings and a fifth would have attended a misconduct meeting had they not resigned from the force. A further two officers received management action and another officer received notice to improve.

One of the officers who attended a misconduct meeting also received a notice to improve. 

Labour MP and anti-racism campaigner minister Bell Ribeiro-Addy believed that the "vile messages" exposed by the IOPC's investigation highlighted "institutional discrimination" within the Met.

"Apologies without system change are just reputation management," she said.  

"The more often we hear them, the more meaningless they become. The Met needs to stop denying the prevalence of racism, homophobia, and misogyny within its ranks and set out clear and decisive commitments for change."

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