Cressida Dick faces calls to resign
Cressida Dick faces calls to resign

THE latest UK policeman to be charged with rape comes as no surprise to those of us who have been paying attention to the culture of misogyny within police forces throughout the country.

Police officer David Carrick, 46, was arrested on Saturday and suspended the same day, London Metropolitan Police said. This comes only days after Wayne Couzens, a former Met officer, was given a whole-life sentence for the abduction, rape and murder of Sarah Everard while he was a serving officer.

London Metropolitan Police Chief Commissioner Cressida Dick who has faced increasing calls to resign, said she was “deeply concerned” by the news of Carrick’s arrest and charge. “I fully recognise that the public will also be very worried,” she added. “Criminal proceedings must now run their course, so I am not in a position to comment further at this point.“

IOPC investigates

A police watchdog is now investigating five serving officers and one former officer from London’s Metropolitan Police for their alleged involvement in “misogynistic, racist and homophobic” WhatsApp group messages with Couzens. The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) is also investigating allegations that the Metropolitan Police failed to properly examine reports of Wayne Couzens allegedly exposing himself to other women days before he killed Ms Everard, plus another indecent exposure incident that Couzens was accused of in 2015 which was apparently missed in the vetting process for his place with the Met.

Brian Paddick, who served as deputy assistant commissioner in London’s police, has told the BBC that “a series” of recent allegations “about inappropriate behaviour by Metropolitan Police officers” points to “a sign of a wider cultural problem” and added “I wouldn’t go so far as to call it institutional misogyny, but I would describe it as widespread sexism within the force, and we need police leaders to acknowledge prejudice within the police service, and who are prepared to do something about it.”

Epidemic of violence

Conservative Young Women, a group which represents women in the Party under the age of 35, would disagree with Mr Paddick and have called for an investigation into the apparent culture of misogyny in the police”. “Many of us feel unsafe and all of us are sad and angry that the epidemic of violence against women and girls has been left unaddressed for so long,” the group said, adding: “Every one of us has thought to ourselves, ‘That could have been me.’” The group said there should be a review into the “apparent culture of misogyny in the police, the sharing of images of victims, and why a serving police officer  reportedly nicknamed ‘the rapist’ by his fellow officers was not investigated for inappropriate behaviour”.

At least 16 serving or former police officers have killed women in the past 13 years, notes the Femicide Census, an organisation which collects data on women killed by men. “Police officers and staff across the UK were reported for alleged domestic abuse almost 700 times in the three years up to April 2018,” according to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism investigation.

Too many ‘bad apples’

Here are just a few examples of policeman who only too obviously should not be on the force: In April of this year, serving policeman Ben Lister, of West Yorkshire Police, was charged with one count of rape and one of sexual assault. His trial has been fixed for January 24, 2022 and he has been suspended until then. And Lee Tatton, 54, who worked for Staffordshire Police when he was arrested in December 2019 for child sex offences, was jailed for six months at Birmingham Crown Court. Then there is Marc Forth, a Coventry policeman, who was cleared of misconduct in a public office for having had a sexual relationship with a woman whose case he had investigated but is also alleged to have raped another woman, to have incited a 15-year-old babysitter to take part in sexual activity with him and his then-partner, and to have sexually assaulted another 15-year-old. He denies all charges. His is a long and sordid story.

As are far too many of those sworn to serve and protect us.

Trust the police?

Although we can see this culture is spread through almost every force in the country it is the Metropolitan Police who are deemed the worst, and it would appear, deservedly so. Met Police staff make up a third of domestic abuse-related incidents which involved police officers across the country. Greater Manchester Police (GMP) is responsible for the second-largest number of officers involved in domestic abuse-related incidents. 

So much for the police protecting women.

And what does our esteemed PM have to say about all this? Johnson said “My take is that the police do, a lot of it, a great job,” he said, while calling on “women of all ages to trust the police.”

Yeah, I don’t think so.

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4 thought on “Culture of misogyny in police force”
  1. There is obviously a serious problem of misogyny within the police but we are also all well aware of the racism present in the force. There is nothing new in this & many of us have suffered as a result. The attractions are in the appeal of power of the job the power to be able to stop & search, to arrest, to use violence, to be heavy handed all legalised & with little oversight by the courts or effective action by the IOPC. Then there is the closed ranks where fellow officers fail to call out problems or whistle blow on ‘comrades’.
    This is not unique to the UK as we have seen in the US the same rules apply but with the addition of all officers being armed & able to dispense ‘justice’ arbitrarily in a moment.
    In the UK my suggestions for reform would be to strengthen the powers of the IOPC, stronger vetting processes for recruits together with frequent reviews of existing officers & some kind of local board representative of the public at large for each police force to receive & process complaints from the public.
    However I like many are worried about complaining about an officer as the repercussions of being targeted by the officer & his colleagues is very high.
    The police have got a lot of work to do regain the trust of the UK citizens.

  2. Thanks Dave/Puffin. She should have resigned a long time ago and the fact that she hasn’t been forced to says a lot about how much those in power really care about this issue. Which is not at all.

  3. Hi Susie,
    Great piece.
    How Cressida Dick has managed to stay in her job is like trying to understand why working people vote Tory!
    I have a wife and three daughters. This story is very pertinent to me and so as a reader, I thank you for laying the story out with a great structure and applying focus where needed to a story that could easily eat itself in emotion.
    Great job, Susie.

    1. Why do you need to have a wife and daughters to feel sympathy for humans? Crossing Dick should resign? That’s your solution? How about “Male police officers should stop assaulting women”?

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