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Southwark Council's response to Baroness Casey’s final report into the Metropolitan Police Service

21 March 2023

In response to Baroness Casey’s final report into the Metropolitan Police Service Cllr Kieron Williams, Leader of Southwark Council, and Cllr Dora Dixon-Fyle, Cabinet Member for Community Safety, said:

“This report is a difficult and upsetting read, but the truth is many of its findings will not be a surprise for people across our community who have been calling for the Metropolitan Police to change for decades.

“The review has set out in no uncertain terms both the scale of change needed within the Met and the urgency with which that change must happen. It outlines in stark detail the institutional racism, sexism, misogyny and homophobia within the force, as well as the failure to implement much needed cultural and systemic change, despite numerous opportunities to do so over several decades.

“It is extremely upsetting to read of humiliating initiation ceremonies targeting female officers and racist acts of violence towards Sikh and Muslim officers. It is shocking the Metropolitan Police has allowed this to happen over many years.

“We are clear that the Met must now change. We welcome the fact that the new Met Commissioner has already committed to major reform and to rebuild Londoners’ confidence in their police service. However, the Met must now go further and follow the full recommendations of the Casey report, working with our communities and the council in a genuine and meaningful way to deliver them.

“This task cannot be understated. Trust and confidence in the Met in Southwark has fallen by 10% in the last year alone, with our Black residents currently almost three times more likely to be stopped and searched than white residents. Our borough had the lowest number of residents in London who felt well informed about the activity of their local police. We also know that the Met does not sufficiently reflect our communities – its officers are 82% white, while almost 50% of Southwark residents are non-white.

“As is set out in the report, our community and all those police officers who work tirelessly for our community have been let down by a longstanding failure within the Met to fully accept that policing can also attract predators and bullies and the need to ‘keep them out when they try to get in, to root them out where they exist, and to guard against the corrosive effects that their actions have on trust, confidence and the fundamental Peelian principles of policing by consent.’

“Southwark Council is committed to working with the Met to ensure these problems are put right and to increase trust and confidence in the Met in all of our communities. That’s why we have written to Sir Mark Rowley, to secure a joint meeting with our Borough Command Unit partners, Lambeth Council, to discuss at the earliest opportunity how this will be achieved.

“In Southwark, we are already doing impactful work to tackle systemic discrimination, including through Southwark Stands Together, our programme for transformative change to tackle poverty, racism and inequality in our borough. This includes strengthening the relationship between police officers and our communities, by working with young people to train Met officers on the fair and respectful use of stop and search, developing collaborative approaches and a mutual awareness of culture between police and communities, as well as other measures such as a biannual state of policing event.

“Today is a stark reminder of the challenges we face. We call on the Met and its Commissioner to match our ambition in Southwark and deliver the change we urgently need.”

Page last updated: 21 March 2023

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