'Rape detection rate is so low it is basically legal'

Baroness Casey's review into the Met Police details case studies were female officers describe their male colleagues as 'sex obsessed'

Baroness Casey’s review of the Metropolitan Police has laid bare a series of grave concerns about the Metropolitan Police’s culture and standards.

The report has unearthed a series of damning case studies that expose the state of the Metropolitan Police.

'Sex obsessed'

H, a black, female officer said male colleagues were “sex obsessed” and would openly rate and grade female colleagues and members of the public on their appearance.

“H says during this time she was often described by male officers as ‘job fit’ – a term she understood to mean women at work who they thought were ‘attractive for a police officer’.

“H says young, female officers were ‘traded like cattle’ and moved on to different units depending on which male officers found them attractive.”

She moved on to another unit that had a strict dress code, and on one occasion was told her hair looked like she had been in an ‘electricity socket’ 10 minutes after she had taken a shower following a physical training session.

She said initiation rituals were common in that unit.

Initiation rituals

“She says women were pressured to compete in food-eating challenges to initiate them into the team, and described women being forced to eat whole cheesecakes until they would vomit.

“On one occasion she was told of a male officer being sexually assaulted in the showers as part of their own initiation, something she says officers would openly talk and joke about on the unit.

“Those who refused to participate were ostracised and considered ‘not to be part of the team’.”

She had a controlling and coercive relationship with a more senior officer, who she claims made malicious allegations against her when they split up, leading to her arrest and being put through the misconduct system.

H said she feared being labelled as a troublemaker if she complained and being either ostracised or moved.

Race

“You have to try and be invisible as a black woman…If you complain you get a reputation as being trouble and then supervisors try and pass you on to other teams.”

“It’s a ‘learn your place’ culture. Except your place is never there… At first I thought it was about being a Special [Constable]. Then I realised it was just the Met.

“And as time went on it became more obvious that it was also about being black and a woman.”

Rape

One officer said the detection rate – the proportion of cases where a suspect has been identified – for rape is so low that it has basically been legalised in London.

They said: “If you look at our performance around rape, serious sexual offences, the detection rate is so low you may as well say it’s legal in London.

“It’s kind of reflective of how we treat and view our female colleagues. You get victim blaming, looking at a situation and not believing [them].”

An officer called A, who was beaten and raped multiple times by fellow Met officer X, was so distraught by the force’s handling of the case she tried to take her own life.

The case was passed between six different investigators in a year, with A being asked to give her account of what had happened each time, and being forced to move team to get away from her abuser.

She said: “I was getting so angry and so frustrated with them and I decided I couldn’t do it any more, I’m done, I need to get on with my life, I was in an absolute state, I had tried to kill myself that year because of the police investigation, it was draining the life out of me.” After two years of investigation, no action was taken.

Baroness Casey's review has found that the Metropolitan Police needs a “complete overhaul” and a “new approach” to restore public trust and confidence.

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