Home Secretary ‘dangerously complacent’ in response to Casey review – Labor

Suella Braverman has been accused by Labor of giving a “dangerously complacent” response to a scathing criticism of the Metropolitan Police.

The Home Secretary said she would ensure the force has “all the support” it needs from central government to deliver on Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley’s promise of “more trust, less crime and high standards”.

Ms Braverman added that the Home Office is reviewing the police dismissal process to ensure that officers who do not meet expected standards can be dismissed “quickly”.

The Met and London Mayor Sadiq Khan must also be judged “not by their words but by their actions”, Ms Braverman told MPs.

But shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper said Ms Braverman’s statement to the House of Commons contained “no new action” and involved “just words saying the Met must change”.

Baroness Louise Casey found the force to be institutionally racist, misogynistic, and homophobic. The review of her was commissioned after the rape and murder of Sarah Everard by then-Metropolitan Police officer Wayne Couzens.

Ms Braverman said “I support the police” in opening her Commons statement before adding: “But there have been growing concerns about the performance of the Metropolitan Police and their ability to win the trust of Londoners.”

“This follows a series of abhorrent cases of officers who betrayed the public’s trust and horribly abused their powers.”

He noted that the report is “very worrying reading” and shows that the force “faces a long road to recovery.”

She said: “Baroness Casey is clear that Sir Mark and Deputy Commissioner Lynne Owens accept the scale of these challenges, and I know this to be true from my own work with them.

“I will ensure the Metropolitan Police have all the central government support they need to deliver on Sir Mark’s promise of more trust, less crime and high standards.

“Every officer on the force needs to be a part of making these changes happen.”

Ms Braverman continued: “It is vital that the law-abiding public does not face a threat from the police themselves.

“Those unfit to wear the uniform must be prevented from doing so, and when revealed, removed from the force and face justice.”

For Labor, Ms Cooper said the report is “thorough, forensic and truly damning” before noting: “It finds that consent has been broken, force management has failed, frontline policing, especially surveillance neighborhood, has been de-prioritized and downgraded after a decade of austerity in which the Met has been left with 700 million pounds less than at the beginning of the decade.

“It finds that the Met is failing women and children, that predatory and unacceptable behavior has been allowed to flourish, and it finds institutional racism, misogyny and homophobia.”

Ms Cooper said Labor supports the work Sir Mark is doing to “start to change the Met”, adding: “He and his team need to go much further in response to Casey’s review.

“But I am concerned that the Home Secretary’s statement is dangerously complacent. Surprisingly, there is no new action set forth in his response, just words that say the Met must change. This is a continuation of the Home Office response that Baroness Casey criticizes in her report.”

Casey's Review Post
Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper (Jordan Pettitt/PA)

Ms Cooper questioned how the Government would address the misogyny, homophobia and racism featured in the Met Police when Ms Braverman urged officers not to focus on “wake up” issues.

It also called on the Government to set out how it would deal with officers accused of domestic abuse and sexual assault in police forces across the UK.

The Labor leader said: “The failure to root out officers who have been involved in domestic abuse and sexual assault applies to other forces as well. Failure to address culture has failed other forces as well. Trouble in Gwent, Hampshire, Police Scotland, Sussex, Leicestershire and more.

“It is a shame that there are still no mandatory vetting and training requirements backed by law, that the misconduct systems are still too weak.

“I urge you to commit now that anyone under investigation for domestic abuse or sexual assault will be automatically suspended from duty as a police officer and that anyone with any type of history of domestic abuse or sexual assault will have no opportunity to become a police officer. A police officer.”

Ms Braverman drew groans from the Opposition pews as she responded to Ms Cooper: “I must say I am disappointed… by your tone. Today is not a day for rude political points; it is a day for serious and sober consideration of the shortcomings of the Met and how those shortcomings have a devastating impact on people’s lives.”


Leave a Reply