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London police riven with institutional 'racism, misogyny'

British official Louise Casey arriving for a press briefing of her review, which found London's Metropolitan Police Service guilty of institutional racism and misogyny. (Photo by WPA)

A report has found that London's Metropolitan Police Service, the biggest police force in Britain, is riddled with deep-seated racism and misogyny.

The review, published Tuesday, noted that London police have lost the confidence of the public, stressing that it must "change itself" or risk being broken up.

"It is not our job as the public to keep ourselves safe from the police. It is the police's job to keep us safe as the public,'' said Louise Casey, an expert on victims' rights and social welfare who led the review.

"Far too many Londoners have now lost faith in policing to do that," she added.

The review found that the Metropolitan Police, known as the Met, is institutionally racist, highlighting the fact that the department is still disproportionately white.

The findings came 24 years after another inquiry found that institutional racism was a key factor in why the Met failed to investigate the murder of Black teenager Stephen Lawrence.

The review was commissioned after a serving officer raped and killed Sarah Everard, a young marketing executive in March 2021, sparking national outcry. The case was one of a series of scandals that have recently hit the Metropolitan Police.

The 363-page report revealed that the organization hasn't treated violence against women and girls as seriously as other forms of violence.

"The de-prioritization and de-specialization of public protection has put women and children at greater risk than necessary," the review said. "Despite some outstanding experienced senior officers, an overworked inexperienced workforce polices child protection, rape and serious sexual offences."

The review also reported widespread bullying and discrimination in the department. "Female officers and staff routinely face sexism and misogyny," it said.

According to a preliminary report released in October, Casey revealed that the Met had allowed officers to remain on the job even after they were accused of domestic abuse or racial harassment.

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