Time to clean up the police force

Camden New Journal LETTERS
15 Oct 2021

‘How can we expect convictions of violent men when police abusers protect other abusers inside and outside the force?’• AS Camden women’s organisations, we welcome the CNJ’s article and Comment on women’s safety.

Since then national newspapers have criticised the institutional cover-up of police officers reported for sexual violence.

The anonymising of internal disciplinary records enables abusive officers to be dismissed quietly, often to slip into other jobs continuing to put women at risk. Many retire avoiding investigation and keeping full pension.

Women police are speaking out too: Former Chief Constable Sue Fish said violent male officers are a “significant minority”.

Channel 4 News revealed that “one woman every week” reports their police partner for “seriously abusing them or their children”.

Ex-Scotland Yard Deputy Assistant Commissioner David Gilbertson described an “epidemic” of hidden violence (Slamming the cell door on Wayne Couzens won’t fix women’s fragile faith in the police), including officers in domestic violence units who “actively searched out vulnerable women for sexual gratification, and in order to gain access to their children for sexual purposes”.

How can we expect convictions of violent men when police abusers protect other abusers inside and outside the force?

Rather than ridding the police of such criminals the government proceeds to drive the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill through parliament (now in the Lords), increasing police powers, criminalising protest, and turning public-sector workers into informers expected to “predict crime”.

The bill won’t help women’s safety when rape and domestic violence have been virtually decriminalised by criminal police behaviour.

What’s needed is a change of leadership at the Met police and the home office, and a thorough cleansing of sexual (and racist, homophobic…) predators from the force. That would begin to enable dedicated officers to uphold the law and protect the public.

Those are the officers Linda Chung (Why Dame Cressida Dick must stay, October 7) should be concerned about; and they will quit if the gross abuse of power in the force is not stopped.

Parliamentarians aiming to amend the bill to make misogyny a hate crime, are dodging the central question of if and how the police apply the law. So are calls for a public inquiry.

The public inquiry is already going on in every news programme and social media. Full admission of the problem starts with withdrawing the policing bill and sacking those at the top responsible for overseeing police criminality.

Women Against Rape
Women of Colour Global Women’s Strike