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#FixingThePolice

thinkin

The banter backlash: is ‘political correctness’ holding back police reform?

This is a digital-only ThinkIn.Dame Cressida Dick described Sarah Everard’s killer as a ‘bad apple’, but he is far from the only officer found to have been sharing discriminatory, misogynistic and graphic content in Whatsapp and private facebook groups. The soon-to-be-former Met Commissioner wrote to all of her 43,000 officers demanding they do not stand by when they witness bad behaviour. London Mayor Sadiq Khan was not satisfied with the response, claiming no confidence in her leadership, in turn leaving the Commissioner “no choice” but to resign.On the other hand, some police insiders have taken to social media to express real concern that the intense focus on misogyny in policing is counterproductive. They suggest that some police leaders’ newfound anti-sexist stance is heavy-handed, sanctimonious and hypocritical. Some insist that ‘banter’ is a harmless and critical part of police culture, and others simply object to yet another set of guidelines over what is and isn’t OK to say. Who’s right? Could it be that where major efforts to shift police cultural norms around sexist behaviour exist, they could be making things worse?This ThinkIn is part of Tortoise Investigates: Police and Misogyny. A year-long collaboration between Tortoise reporters and members, this project seeks to explore the way police culture consistently permits the failure to prosecute, and sometimes even to investigate, sexual and violent crime against women and girls.If you have an experience to share that would help our investigation, on or off the record, please contact liz@tortoisemedia.com. editor and invited experts Liz MoseleyEditor Graham GouldenFormer Chief Inspector, Scottish Violence Reduction Unit

thinkin

The banter backlash: is ‘political correctness’ holding back police reform?

This is a digital-only ThinkIn.Dame Cressida Dick described Sarah Everard’s killer as a ‘bad apple’, but he is far from the only officer found to have been sharing discriminatory, misogynistic and graphic content in Whatsapp and private facebook groups. The soon-to-be-former Met Commissioner wrote to all of her 43,000 officers demanding they do not stand by when they witness bad behaviour. London Mayor Sadiq Khan was not satisfied with the response, claiming no confidence in her leadership, in turn leaving the Commissioner “no choice” but to resign.On the other hand, some police insiders have taken to social media to express real concern that the intense focus on misogyny in policing is counterproductive. They suggest that some police leaders’ newfound anti-sexist stance is heavy-handed, sanctimonious and hypocritical. Some insist that ‘banter’ is a harmless and critical part of police culture, and others simply object to yet another set of guidelines over what is and isn’t OK to say. Who’s right? Could it be that where major efforts to shift police cultural norms around sexist behaviour exist, they could be making things worse?This ThinkIn is part of Tortoise Investigates: Police and Misogyny. A year-long collaboration between Tortoise reporters and members, this project seeks to explore the way police culture consistently permits the failure to prosecute, and sometimes even to investigate, sexual and violent crime against women and girls.If you have an experience to share that would help our investigation, on or off the record, please contact liz@tortoisemedia.com. editor and invited experts Liz MoseleyEditor Graham GouldenFormer Chief Inspector, Scottish Violence Reduction Unit

thinkin

Should police officers be banned from social media?

This is a digital-only ThinkIn.Misogynistic content of private police WhatsApp groups brought both shame and scrutiny on police culture last year. But even some of the things police officers say in public – both in official statements and on personal social media accounts – can be jaw-dropping. At the Tortoise Policing Inquiry in November last year, we heard that ‘police Twitter is a cesspit’. For the purposes of our investigation into police culture, such public content is a potent source of evidence – but the negative effects of social media echo-chambers, exaggerating and endorsing unacceptable attitudes – are well-documented. How should police use of digital communications platforms be moderated? Should serving officers be banned from Twitter?  This ThinkIn is part of Tortoise Investigates: Police and Misogyny. A year-long collaboration between Tortoise reporters and members, this project seeks to explore the way police culture consistently permits the failure to prosecute, and sometimes even to investigate, sexual and violent crime against women and girls.If you have an experience to share that would help our investigation, on or off the record, please contact liz@tortoisemedia.com. editor Liz MoseleyEditor

thinkin

The Tortoise Policing Inquiry

Today, David Carrick is one of the worst sex offenders in modern history who committed his crimes whilst serving as a Metropolitan Police officer. Wayne Couzens kidnapped, raped and murdered Sarah Everard whilst also serving as a Metropolitan Police officer. Can London’s police force ever repair the damage to its reputation and regain the trust of the public? “This is a man who relentlessly degraded, belittled, sexually assaulted and raped women”Jaswant Narwal, Chief Crown Prosecutor This is Jaswant Narwal, a Chief Crown Prosecutor, speaking outside Southwark Crown Court. “As time went on the severity of his offending intensified as he became emboldened thinking he would get away with it.”Jaswant Narwal, Chief Crown Prosecutor She’s talking about David Carrick. “The scale of the degradation Carrick subjected his victims to is unlike anything I’ve encountered in my 34 years with a Crown Prosecution Service.”Jaswant Narwal, Chief Crown Prosecutor The similarities between him and Wayne Couzens are striking. They were Metropolitan police officers when they committed their crimes and they both worked for the same unit. Wayne Couzens was nicknamed “the rapist” by his colleagues because he made women feel uncomfortable. David Carrick was nicknamed “Bastard Dave” by his fellow officers because he had a reputation for being mean and cruel. Since 2000, he’d been repeatedly reported to the Met and three other police forces for criminal and predatory behaviour against women. Despite those allegations though, David Carrick was allowed to continue working, and was revetted in 2017. But on Monday, 20 years after his first known offence, he pleaded guilty to 49 offences. “Today PC Garrick pleaded guilty to 24 rapes and as many other crimes against women, 12 different women, including attempted rape, sexual assault and possessing a gun to cause fear… … the Metropolitan had nine opportunities to stop him, and didn’t.”ITV News That failure to deal with him sooner is ultimately why the Met has so many questions to answer, because again, the same was true with Wayne Couzens. Police missed opportunities to stop him. So how did the police eventually catch up with another one of their own? *** In October 2021 – a woman told Hertfordshire police that David Carrick had flashed his police warrant card – to reassure her, before attacking and raping her in a St Albans hotel.  The abuse of his power is similar to how Wayne Couzens first approached Sarah Everard.  “PC Wayne Couzens was caught on camera showing something to Sarah Everard, presumed to be his warrant card.”Channel 4 News The woman in this case came forward almost immediately after Wayne Couzens was handed a life sentence for the kidnap, rape and murder of Sarah Everard.  That’s what led to David Carrick being arrested and suspended from duty. And it also led to other women coming forward.  The first known attack happened in 2003. He imprisoned her and subjected her to an indecent assault. A string of other offences against multiple victims followed, the majority of whom had met David Carrick on dating apps or at social clubs. “PC David Carrick repeatedly humiliated his victims, locking women in the under stairs cupboard of his Hertfordshire home, or forcing them to clean his house naked.”ITV News Now he’s admitted charges relating to 12 women, so why did he get away with it for so long? ***  “I’m sorry and I know we’ve let, we’ve let women down…”Mark Rowley, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Metropolitan Police Commissioner Mark Rowley has said the force will crack down on offenders within its ranks. “I mean I think we failed over two decades to be as ruthless as we ought to be regarding our own integrity, we haven’t been as intrusive as we should be joining the dots on cases to spot problematic officers.”Mark Rowley, Metropolitan Police Commissioner A review of 1,000 Met officers who have been accused of domestic violence or sex offences, including rape, is now underway. And the Home Office has asked all police forces to check staff against a national database to identify if anyone slipped through the net. But Home Secretary Suella Braverman has been criticised for her response to the David Carrick case. “Well it’s clear that today is a sobering day for the Met Police Service and indeed for the whole policing family throughout the country. This appalling incident represents a breach of trust, it will affect people’s confidence in the police, and it’s clear that standards and culture need to change.”Suella Braverman, Home Secretary Several Conservative MPs have demanded more measures to tackle misogyny in the police, while Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper has criticised the lack of leadership from the government.   “After the truly appalling murder of Sarah Everard by a serving police officer, Home Office ministers promised change. The then Home Secretary promised to set up processes that would prevent this happening again. That has badly failed. There are still no legal requirements on vetting, forces can effectively do what they want, they don’t even have to check employment history and character references and some don’t. They don’t even have to interview people beforehand.”Yvette Cooper, Shadow Home Secretary speaking in the Houses of Parliament Not only does the police’s poor vetting process allow predatory people to become police officers, there are also concerns about how difficult it is to sack racist, sexist or failing staff.  Mark Rowley says he came back into policing to overhaul the Met. He’s pledged to rid the force of predators, and believes recommendations from an independent review will be radical.   “Baroness Louise Casey is looking systematically at our culture and standards and doing an independent review. She has already done an interim report on our handling of standards issues and the Carrick case is a tragic illustration of the findings she found, but she’s going to look more systematically and widely and I’m sure her recommendations will be radical and powerful and I’m completely up for that.”Mark Rowley, Metropolitan Police Commissioner speaking on Radio 4’s Today programme Louise Casey is known for shining a light on institutions and revealing uncomfortable truths, but the job of restoring trust in the police has just got much harder. This episode was written and mixed by Imy Harper.

thinkin

Sensemaker Live: Can the police restore public trust?

Today, David Carrick is one of the worst sex offenders in modern history who committed his crimes whilst serving as a Metropolitan Police officer. Wayne Couzens kidnapped, raped and murdered Sarah Everard whilst also serving as a Metropolitan Police officer. Can London’s police force ever repair the damage to its reputation and regain the trust of the public? “This is a man who relentlessly degraded, belittled, sexually assaulted and raped women”Jaswant Narwal, Chief Crown Prosecutor This is Jaswant Narwal, a Chief Crown Prosecutor, speaking outside Southwark Crown Court. “As time went on the severity of his offending intensified as he became emboldened thinking he would get away with it.”Jaswant Narwal, Chief Crown Prosecutor She’s talking about David Carrick. “The scale of the degradation Carrick subjected his victims to is unlike anything I’ve encountered in my 34 years with a Crown Prosecution Service.”Jaswant Narwal, Chief Crown Prosecutor The similarities between him and Wayne Couzens are striking. They were Metropolitan police officers when they committed their crimes and they both worked for the same unit. Wayne Couzens was nicknamed “the rapist” by his colleagues because he made women feel uncomfortable. David Carrick was nicknamed “Bastard Dave” by his fellow officers because he had a reputation for being mean and cruel. Since 2000, he’d been repeatedly reported to the Met and three other police forces for criminal and predatory behaviour against women. Despite those allegations though, David Carrick was allowed to continue working, and was revetted in 2017. But on Monday, 20 years after his first known offence, he pleaded guilty to 49 offences. “Today PC Garrick pleaded guilty to 24 rapes and as many other crimes against women, 12 different women, including attempted rape, sexual assault and possessing a gun to cause fear… … the Metropolitan had nine opportunities to stop him, and didn’t.”ITV News That failure to deal with him sooner is ultimately why the Met has so many questions to answer, because again, the same was true with Wayne Couzens. Police missed opportunities to stop him. So how did the police eventually catch up with another one of their own? *** In October 2021 – a woman told Hertfordshire police that David Carrick had flashed his police warrant card – to reassure her, before attacking and raping her in a St Albans hotel.  The abuse of his power is similar to how Wayne Couzens first approached Sarah Everard.  “PC Wayne Couzens was caught on camera showing something to Sarah Everard, presumed to be his warrant card.”Channel 4 News The woman in this case came forward almost immediately after Wayne Couzens was handed a life sentence for the kidnap, rape and murder of Sarah Everard.  That’s what led to David Carrick being arrested and suspended from duty. And it also led to other women coming forward.  The first known attack happened in 2003. He imprisoned her and subjected her to an indecent assault. A string of other offences against multiple victims followed, the majority of whom had met David Carrick on dating apps or at social clubs. “PC David Carrick repeatedly humiliated his victims, locking women in the under stairs cupboard of his Hertfordshire home, or forcing them to clean his house naked.”ITV News Now he’s admitted charges relating to 12 women, so why did he get away with it for so long? ***  “I’m sorry and I know we’ve let, we’ve let women down…”Mark Rowley, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Metropolitan Police Commissioner Mark Rowley has said the force will crack down on offenders within its ranks. “I mean I think we failed over two decades to be as ruthless as we ought to be regarding our own integrity, we haven’t been as intrusive as we should be joining the dots on cases to spot problematic officers.”Mark Rowley, Metropolitan Police Commissioner A review of 1,000 Met officers who have been accused of domestic violence or sex offences, including rape, is now underway. And the Home Office has asked all police forces to check staff against a national database to identify if anyone slipped through the net. But Home Secretary Suella Braverman has been criticised for her response to the David Carrick case. “Well it’s clear that today is a sobering day for the Met Police Service and indeed for the whole policing family throughout the country. This appalling incident represents a breach of trust, it will affect people’s confidence in the police, and it’s clear that standards and culture need to change.”Suella Braverman, Home Secretary Several Conservative MPs have demanded more measures to tackle misogyny in the police, while Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper has criticised the lack of leadership from the government.   “After the truly appalling murder of Sarah Everard by a serving police officer, Home Office ministers promised change. The then Home Secretary promised to set up processes that would prevent this happening again. That has badly failed. There are still no legal requirements on vetting, forces can effectively do what they want, they don’t even have to check employment history and character references and some don’t. They don’t even have to interview people beforehand.”Yvette Cooper, Shadow Home Secretary speaking in the Houses of Parliament Not only does the police’s poor vetting process allow predatory people to become police officers, there are also concerns about how difficult it is to sack racist, sexist or failing staff.  Mark Rowley says he came back into policing to overhaul the Met. He’s pledged to rid the force of predators, and believes recommendations from an independent review will be radical.   “Baroness Louise Casey is looking systematically at our culture and standards and doing an independent review. She has already done an interim report on our handling of standards issues and the Carrick case is a tragic illustration of the findings she found, but she’s going to look more systematically and widely and I’m sure her recommendations will be radical and powerful and I’m completely up for that.”Mark Rowley, Metropolitan Police Commissioner speaking on Radio 4’s Today programme Louise Casey is known for shining a light on institutions and revealing uncomfortable truths, but the job of restoring trust in the police has just got much harder. This episode was written and mixed by Imy Harper.