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The Casey Review

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Last updated on October 14th, 2023 at 11:30 am

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Before I begin I want to make a few things crystal clear, especially as many of the Twitterati seem to enjoy portraying me in completely the wrong way, or they think they know my opinions, but they do not, just mischief makers.

Firstly, I do not, and never have, think that the Metropolitan Police is a ‘perfect’ organisation. Neither do I think that it will ever become perfect, but it certainly in need of some improvements.

Neither do I believe that officers such as Couzens and Carrick, and many others, have any place in Policing. They should have been identified and weeded out. Something went wrong with their vetting and they slipped through the net. The fact that they were able to remain is undoubtedly due to some of their colleagues neither challenging nor reporting their suspicions. To be clear there is no place in Policing for colleagues like that either.

I have now had the opportunity to read a very helpful précis of the Review by Police Oracle and I have also skim read the majority of the Review in full.

Unless I have grossly misunderstood, or missed something, there is much about the Review that is positive. There are references to racism, misogyny and sexist behaviour by individual officers, and, obviously, to officers like Couzens and Carrick.

The Press would have us believe that the vast majority, if not all, of Met officers fall into one or more of these categories. I certainly didn’t interpret it that way, but only a fool would say it doesn’t exist because the Met are quite regularly putting officers suspected of these traits before the Courts or Misconduct Panels, and that is to be applauded. There are over 30,000 officers in the Met and I truly believe that is a case of a ‘few’ rotten apples and not the whole orchard.

It should be noted that in percentage terms there is a much higher number of politicians being investigated for sexual assaults, inappropriate language/behaviour, or very recently watching porn within the Chamber. There are similar issues in other professions also, but they are not subject to the same level of vilification as Policing.

The Review also contains quotes and comments from anonymised serving officers. Some of them I can readily accept and believe, others I find far more difficult to believe that serving officers would have made the comments attributed them, but I’ve been retired a long time, maybe things truly have changed that much.

There is one segment of the Review that I totally and utterly disagree with. Baroness Casey has repeated, and agreed with, the assertion that people of ethnic minorities were disproportionately the subjects of Stop and Search

The figures quoted compare the Stop/Search statistics for ethnicity are compared to the ethnic profile of London as a whole. Many people accept that that is a valid comparison, giving a disproportionate result.

Personally I favour the ‘Available Population’ approach. If one is looking for a black male suspect, and the majority of people present at the location at that time are black, it would be wholly wrong to Stop/Search a white person. For this comparison the ethnic profile of London is totally irrelevant. What is relevant is the ethnic profile of the ‘population’ at the venue, at the relevant time.

The Home Office, amongst others, are known to avoid this comparison in favour of the pan London population.

Finally, and I do hope that Police Oracle don’t mind me reproducing this (if you do I will happily delete this paragraph) their précis does highlight some positive points in the Review, reproduced below. Much (but not all) of the criticism of the Met is aimed at lack of supervision, poor leadership and flawed policies, none of which is the fault of the PCs on the Front Line.

the casey review

Finally, if like me you were left spitting your breakfast cereals across the room yesterday I commend you to either read the Police Oracle précis, or brace yourself and read the full Review, it’s a hard slog, but does have its positive side.

Ultimately I, unsurprisingly, blame the government for much of the Met’s shortcomings. With the savage cuts applied by Theresa May there was a wholesale loss of Police Officers, Police Staff and Police buildings.

These cutbacks undoubtedly contributed to a decline in efficiency by the organisation as a whole. Reduction in efficiencies meant that vetting standards were woefully inadequate. Combined with the pressures of recruiting 20,000 ‘extra’ officers within 3 years some bad apples inevitably slipped through. QED.

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4 thoughts on “The Casey Review”

  1. I have not read the entire Casey Report, instead I have read a variety of social media comments and traditional media reporting. It is quite clear many, not just from the “chattering classes” have focused on the MPS denial of ‘institutional racism’ as the “big stick” to use not to advance change, but to declare “we told you so”.
    That leaves the wider British public (to be fair I doubt the Casey Report resonates much in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales) asking what happens next? Is Commissioner Mark Rowley’s announced plan enough to achieve a better MPS and to keep the “wolves outside” at bay, I fear it is not. That is why I found Bill Bratton’s BBC R4 interview useful:
    Are the leadership of the MPS ready to “eat humble pie” in public, as Bratton suggests? I fear not.

  2. What I find strange is whilst media jump on the bandwagon and further diminish any trust in the service, they constantly defend and applaud the NHS.
    They do this whilst a nurse (nicknamed the Angel of death) is on trial for multiple homicides, Harold Shipman killed God knows how many, an NHS technician sexually abused and filmed himself with cadavas, three young lives lost at an NHS mental health unit… I can go on! They give the “lessons have been learned” speech and everyone moves on.
    I just wonder how many NHS workers have been sacked or struck off for misconduct. From what I can see, they have more deaths on their hands than the Police Service. This doesn’t make it right, and of course bent/abusive cops need outing, but media are hell bent on helping public lose trust in the service.

    1. I absolutely agree Mark. My personal view on this, is that it’s very much driven by our current government. Theresa May was for ever going on about the “Canteen Culture” in Policing, then a situation was engineered by which untold numbers of canteens were shut down. This resulted in very public condemnation of officers being spotted at Costa, McD, KFC, Tesco etc, buying their food and drinks. No attempt was made to explain why this happening. Now we have a “Culture” of racism, misogyny and sexism. How many cultures does Policing contain? There have been a few very high profile cases featuring some very evil people who have shamed and embarrassed Policing, but out of the 140,000 or so officers in England and Wales, it’s a very small percentage, but it is made out to be a really serious problem. Yet at the same time, as you quite rightly say, similar issues in other professions do not result in the entire profession being vilified. It’s not hard to spot the signs of the contempt with which the Conservatives hold the Police, Plebgate for example, and I would not be surprised if it didn’t date back to the search of Damian Green’s office in HoC

  3. I am retired and not from the Met. I live and move around London a lot. I have great respect for the Officers I see on the street. They are haunted by the Media and every other ‘Self-interest group” that wants to score a point. Mobile Phone cameras come out as soon as an incident unfolds. Mrs May was, in my view, an enemy of public safety in her vote-hunting deceitful representation of Stop and Search practice. The number of young black men who have died because of activities of Police Officers on the front line of high-level threat areas is restricted and inhibited by her opposition and criticism. This is still the case now. Sex identity, coloured and minority groups and Political Power wielders are interfering with efficient policing whilst the death list increases. We need strong, capable, dynamic, empowered officers on the street. Unfortunately, they don’t profile in the land of ‘The Woke”

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