Hundreds of UK Police Officers to Be Investigated for Misconduct After Calls for Reform

In the aftermath of the murder of Sarah Everard by a Met officer, that triggered a large vigil among concerned women and men in London, hundreds of officers are now facing potential charges for their own alleged abuses of power.

The Aftermath of Casey Review

The Casey Review is the name of the new initiative that will see large numbers of officers in the UK face criminal charges against them. In the Casey Revoew, 461 individuals will face criminal investigation or disciplinary proceedings because of the review. Met officer Wayne Couzens in 2021, exposed deeply ingrained issues within the Metropolitan Police after the murder of Sarah Everard. 

Of these 461 criminal cases, five police officers and four staff members are under criminal investigation for offences such as fraud, sexual assault and drug abuse. 88 officers are facing disciplinary investigations, most of whom serve under the Metropolitan police. 

Campaigner Anna Birley from Reclaim These Streets said, “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.” Birley said that these revealed cases represent only the “tip of the iceberg.”

“The number of officers shows it isn’t just a few bad apples, “she said, “Staff who commit a crime or behave in a discriminatory or predatory way is only the tip of the iceberg,” prompting the question, how many bad apples are there?

Screening Process and Intervention

The Casey Review investigated 307,452 officers, some of whom were volunteers, in order to find the 461 individuals requiring investigation. Management intervention has been recommended for 128 officers and staff members. Chief Constable Serena Kennedy, NPCC lead for the data wash, stated that the low number and actions taken “should provide reassurance that we are committed to the highest standards of integrity.”

Scepticism lingers as the Center for Women’s Justice (CWJ) pointed out discrepancies. Harriet Wistrich, CWJ director, stated, “The outcome that only a tiny number of police officers from across the country have been found to require further investigation does not accord with recent findings within the Met police alone as revealed in the Baroness Casey report and Operation Onyx.” 

“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,” Wistrich added, “The explanation for such a virtually clean bill of health must lie in the significant problems in the collection of data that the police themselves have identified.”

Progress on Police Misogyny

Despite widespread condemnation of the police response to the vigil for Sarah Everard, campaign group founder Anna Birley argued that little progress has been made regarding police misogyny.

According to Birley, urgent reform is needed to address institutional issues and provide a safer environment for women interacting with law enforcement, “And that is a cultural problem that can’t be fixed by screening a database. It requires institutional reform,” she said.

The Metropolitan Police, the largest police force in the UK, reported 58 disciplinary investigations but no criminal investigations triggered by the screening.

Commander James Harman stressed that, “The task of checking every employee against the national database was a critical one and aligns with our significant steps to root out those who have no place in the Met.”

Future Measures and PCCs’ Role

Plans are underway to establish regular police database screenings for all police service employees. Donna Jones, chair of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs), assured that individuals identified will be dealt with swiftly.

Jones stated, “Where individuals of concern have been identified, PCCs will hold their force chiefs to account locally to ensure that they are dealt with appropriately and swiftly.”

The post Hundreds of UK Police Officers to Be Investigated for Misconduct After Calls for Reform first appeared on Pulse365 Limited

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Brian A Jackson.

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