In the aftermath of Sarah Everard’s tragic murder, an unprecedented investigation reveals that 461 police officers are under scrutiny, facing criminal probes and disciplinary actions, exposing deep-rooted and severe problems within the UK’s law enforcement agencies. Here’s the full story.
Who Watches the Watchers?
In the aftermath of the tragic murder of Sarah Everard by a serving Metropolitan Police officer, Wayne Couzens, the United Kingdom has launched a long overdue investigation into the conduct of its police officers, and the findings make for a sobering read.
Four hundred sixty-one officers and police staff are now under scrutiny after slipping through the net during previous screening processes.
This most recent investigation began with the Casey Review, which delved into the culture and standards of the Metropolitan Police. This comprehensive review exposed deeply rooted issues within the force, leading to the initiation of criminal investigations, re-vetting procedures, and disciplinary proceedings for hundreds of officers across the country.
Of the 461 individuals flagged, nine are currently facing criminal investigations. Shockingly, these probes cover a range of serious offences, including sexual offences, theft, drug offences, and fraud.
The revelation of such diverse allegations has raised concerns among campaigners, who have questioned the effectiveness of the screening process, alleging the numbers “simply don’t stack up.”
Bad Boys, What You Gonna Do?
Aside from criminal investigations, 88 individuals are undergoing disciplinary investigations, with one officer facing scrutiny over allegations of sexual misconduct and another police staff member under investigation for discriminatory conduct.
The figures indicate that the issues go much deeper than simple criminal behaviour, suggesting a culture of impunity within the nation’s police forces.
The Metropolitan Police, currently under special measures due to revelations in the Casey Review, has the dubious honour of being at the forefront of the screening process. More than 65% of disciplinary investigations are centred around officers and staff associated with this force.
Following the release of the Casey Review – which determined that the force was institutionally racist, misogynistic, and homophobic – another Metropolitan Police officer, David Carrick, was exposed as one of Britain’s most egregious sex offenders. Carrick was subsequently sentenced to 32 years in prison for the heinous crimes of raping and abusing multiple women.
Additionally, former officer Adam Provan faced justice and received a 16-year prison sentence for committing multiple rapes during his tenure with the Met.
Campaigners, such as Anna Birley from Reclaim These Streets, expressed shock at the delayed identification of these officers almost three years after Sarah Everard’s tragic murder. During an interview with the Independent newspaper, she stated, “That means there have been hundreds of officers at the end of the phone at people’s most terrifying moments who can’t be trusted.”
The Centre for Women’s Justice (CWJ), known for its police super-complaint in 2020 over the scourge of domestic abuse perpetrated by police officers, has challenged the reported figures.
CWJ Director Harriet Wistrich argues that the outcome does not align with recent findings within the Met police alone, as revealed in the Baroness Casey report and Operation Onyx. She added, “Neither does it accord with the evidence we have collected from women who have come forward to CWJ following our police super-complaint submitted in March 2020.”
Too Little, Too Late?
As the investigation unfolds, the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) has emphasised the enormity of the screening task, assuring the public of their commitment to maintaining the highest standards of integrity within the police force. Plans are underway to establish regular police database screenings for all police service employees.
The Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC) has assured swift action against individuals identified, advocating for a permanent monitoring system to address these issues promptly. The aftermath of Sarah Everard’s murder has prompted a comprehensive review of the conduct of police officers across the UK.
However, it is simply a case of too little, too late for the many people victimised by the officers in question. Much more must be done to address the severe challenges faced by police forces within the UK to ensure they are worthy of the trust placed in them by their fellow citizens.
The post MET Under Investigation: 461 Officers Under Scrutiny first appeared on Edge Media.
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Grant Gallacher is a seasoned writer with expertise in politics and impactful daily news. His work, deeply rooted in addressing issues that resonate with a wide audience, showcases an unwavering commitment to bringing forth the stories that matter. He is also known for satirical writing and stand up comedy.