Met chief Sir Mark Rowley ‘crazy’ for not accepting the force is institutionally racist, says Louise Casey
Met Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley was “crazy” and “disrespectful” to black Londoners by failing to accept that his force is institutionally racist, the author of a damning report into his force said on Monday.
Baroness Louise Casey said Sir Mark had gone “down a rabbit hole” by refusing to accept her verdict that institutional racism, misogyny and homophobia is at the root of the problems which have engulfed the Met in a succession of scandals.
She added she was “disappointed” with Sir Mark’s response – which she has already criticised several times since her report was published in March – and that she remained undecided as to whether his force had taken her findings and recommendations for reform seriously enough.
She also warned that the Met would not be able to serve the public adequately if it continued “marching on a white male, misogynist, racist culture” and that the necessary changes would only occur if the force was willing to accept the full extent of its problems.
“I was disappointed at publication that the Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley … went down a rabbit hole over whether he would or wouldn’t use the word institutional, which I thought was crazy to be completely honest and disrespectful to black and minority ethnic Londoners,” Baroness Casey told BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour.
“The Met police, whether you call it systemic, organisational, institutional, whichever word you want to use, it has deep into its organisation the inability to get it right for black people and also for women.”
I want them to change, I’m desperate for them to change, but in order to change you have to accept what’s shown you in the mirror, you have to dig deep, and you have to work out what it is you want to change.
Baroness Casey added that without reform, the Met would not be able to police London’s diverse population as it should.
“In something like the police where 50 per cent of London now is not white, it’s back or minority ethnic background, and 50 per cent of the population are women, if your organisation is still marching on a white male, misogynist, racist culture you are not serving the people.”
She added: “The jury is out for me at the moment as to whether the Metropolitan Police has taken it seriously enough and put action in place to respond to the report.
“I want them to change, I’m desperate for them to change, but in order to change you have to accept what’s shown you in the mirror, you have to dig deep, and you have to work out what it is you want to change.
Baroness Casey’s report was commissioned in the wake of the kidnap, rape and murder of Sarah Everard by the then Met officer Wayne Couzens and contains a succession of recommendations for reform.
In unveiling her findings, Baroness Casey warned that the problems within the force were so bad there could be other officers within its ranks as bad as Couzens or his serial rapist former colleague David Carrick.
She denounced bullying, poor leadership and the "rotten" treatment of black Londoners and highlighted incidents including dildos being put in coffee mugs, bags of urine thrown at cars, and ethnic minority officers being ridiculed and talked down to as examples of misconduct within the Met. She also lashed out at the “off the barometer” decision to allow an officer convicted of indecent exposure for masturbating on a train to keep his job.
She warned further that the protection of women had been “thrown out of the window” and criticised failings at Scotland Yard infecting ever level of the force.
Sir Mark Rowley has said that he accepts Baroness Casey’s findings and the existence of the problems which led to her to reach her diagnosis of “institutional racism, misogyny and homophobia”.
But he has said that he is not willing to use the word “institutional” on the grounds that it is a politicised term and “means different things to different people”.