POLL: Should Met Police chief Cressida Dick resign after ‘disgraceful’ police behaviour?

Amber Rudd signals Cressida's Dick's future in MET is in doubt

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Dame Cressida Dick has served as Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police since 2017. During her tenure, she’s overseen several crises of public faith in the force, including the Sarah Everard murder, which was said at the time to be a “watershed moment” for the Met.

However, nearly a year on from the horrific abduction, rape and murder of Ms Everard by a serving police officer, an investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has found deep-rooted evidence of “disgraceful” behaviour in the force.

The report detailed misogyny, discrimination, bullying and sexual harassment among PCs, based mainly at London’s Charing Cross.

But the report said the IOPC did not believe this was just a case of “a few ‘bad apples'”, suggesting systemic failings running throughout the force.

Among the findings, the IOPC report found the officers had joked about rape, domestic violence and killing children.

The Met said it was “deeply sorry” after the report was published.

On Thursday, London Mayor Sadiq Khan put Dame Cressida “on notice” in the wake of the “shocking” findings.

The mayoral spokesperson said Mr Khan and Dame Cressida had taken part in a “very frank discussion which lasted for well over 90 minutes” about the force and the changes needed.

They said: “The mayor made clear to the Commissioner how angry he is with a return to the bad days of the Met of his childhood in the 1970s and 80s, and that neither he nor Londoners will put up with this.

“He has put the Commissioner on notice. He said the Met needs to urgently show it has an effective plan for restoring the trust and confidence of Londoners in the police and to drive out the culture of racism, homophobia, bullying and misogyny which clearly still exists within its ranks.”

But others have said this doesn’t go far enough to address the severity of the issue and have called for Dame Cressida to resign.

Nadia Whittome, the Labour MP for Nottingham East, said: “There is a culture of institutional misogyny in the Met. Cressida Dick should resign.”

Lord Blunkett, who served as Labour Home Secretary between 2001 and 2004, told The Times newspaper that Met officers were too “scared” to report colleagues, meaning “the culture would never change”.

Jamie Klingler, a co-founder of Reclaim These Streets, a campaign group focused on women’s personal safety in public, suggested that the Met is “paralysed to reform”.

She said: “When an organisation is built around silence and complicity there is no way anything changes.

“It is 100 percent time for Dame Cressida Dick to go.”

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Home Office Minister Kit Malthouse said the report described “abhorrent behaviour” that “shamed” the Met Police and its leadership.

And Home Secretary Priti Patel said earlier she had been left “appalled and sickened” by the report and blamed Dame Cressida for “failures of leadership”.

Ms Patel did, however, say she still had “confidence” in the Commissioner to do her job, but said she intended to continue “challenging [Dame Cressida] directly” on the issues.

The IOPC investigation, which was launched in 2018 after an officer allegedly had sex with a vulnerable woman in a room inside a London police station, uncovered shocking evidence.

This included messages in police Whatsapp and Facebook chat groups about rape, jokes about impersonating sex offenders, and numerous comments which constitute homophobia, racism, misogyny or ableism.

Of the 14 officers investigated, two were dismissed for gross misconduct and put on the barred list, preventing future employment with the police.

Another two resigned and several others faced disciplinary action, the IOPC said.

Nine are still serving with the force, while another is working as a contractor in a staff role.

Sal Naseem, regional director at the IOPC, said: “The behaviour we uncovered was disgraceful and fell well below the standards expected of the officers involved.

“Policing in the United Kingdom is by consent, which means the trust and confidence that the public has in the police service is critical. The behaviours we uncovered risked causing serious damage to that relationship.”

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