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Cressida Dick has failed women The Met's leader presides over a scandal-beset force

She won't be able to hide behind all those medals forever. (Photo by Hannah McKay - WPA Pool / Getty Images)

She won't be able to hide behind all those medals forever. (Photo by Hannah McKay - WPA Pool / Getty Images)


February 7, 2022   5 mins

It is quite some time since the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Dame Cressida Dick, attracted positive headlines. Exactly five years since her appointment was announced in February 2017, she presides over a force mired in scandal.

Dick promised to make tackling violent crime her priority but the figures tell a very different story: recorded rapes have soared, domestic violence is rising and last year saw the highest ever level of teenage homicides in London (30, compared with 17 in 2020). Last March a vigil for Sarah Everard, raped and murdered by a serving officer, was a PR disaster for the Met, while Dick was forced to defend policing at the Euros 2020 final in July after scenes of violent disorder at Wembley.

The force is currently the subject of two inquiries, one ordered by Dick and the other, announced only a day later, by the Home Secretary, Priti Patel. The latter announcement was hardly a vote of confidence in the review ordered by Dick since both inquiries were prompted by the abduction of Ms Everard. Last week the Met was hit by another round of terrible publicity as a toxic culture of misogyny, racism and homophobia was exposed by the Independent Office for Police Conduct at Charing Cross police station in central London.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, was said to be “furious” and reported to have put the Commissioner “on notice”. What took him so long? His volte face came only five months after Patel offered Dick an extension to her term without so much as a squeak of protest from Khan. Patel apparently believed that the extension would provide “continuity”, although it’s hard to imagine many Londoners welcoming a continuation of the disasters that have taken place under Dick’s watch.

By the time she was granted an extra two years in September last year, the scandals accumulating around the Met were becoming impossible to ignore. PC Wayne Couzens had been accused of indecent exposure on at least two occasions, the most recent just three days before he murdered Ms Everard, but he wasn’t suspended and was able to use his warrant card to get her into his car. A PC in North London was sacked for using his baton to repeatedly strike a black teenager with learning difficulties who approached him for help after she became separated from her carers. Two Met officers had been charged with taking and sharing photos while guarding a crime scene in another area of north London where two black sisters, Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman, had been horrifically murdered. Both officers were jailed at the end of last year.

Last October, it emerged that 326 Met officers and special constables had been accused of domestic abuse between 2017 and 2020, but “no action” was recorded in 265 cases. In a case that says much about the Met’s culture, two female officers who accused a colleague of rape had to wait three years before he faced a misconduct hearing.

In yet another case, reported by the Sunday Times, a senior detective is said to have kept his job despite being found guilty last year of gross misconduct for sexually harassing a woman who called 101 for help after she was mugged. DCI James Mason, who was a DS at the time of the incident in 2011, told the woman, Kristina O’Connor, she was “amazingly hot” and warned her that rejecting an officer’s advances was “frowned upon”. Her robber was never found. Embarrassingly, Mason later worked as a staff officer to Cressida Dick in 2019. O’Connor is now suing the Met for “enabling and normalising” misogyny after Mason was allowed to keep not just his job but his rank.

It is something of an understatement to say that the force has problems with recruitment, training, supervision and disciplinary procedures. What this means is that women in London who report a traumatic experience, such as domestic violence, have no way of knowing whether the officer in front of them is implicated in such behaviour himself.

Dick has talked about every force having the occasional “bad ‘un”, an exceptionally ill-chosen turn of phrase that she used on the very day that Couzens appeared in court for sentencing. It’s a threadbare excuse, entirely discredited now that the IoPC has declared that the incidents at Charing Cross were “not isolated or simply the behaviour of a few bad apples”. What they expose is a permissive culture where misogyny, racism and homophobia are normalised, so much so that decent officers fear blowing the whistle because of the reaction of colleagues, or what it might do to their careers.

Many hoped that the murder of Ms Everard would be a watershed moment in terms of protecting women from sexual violence. But the situation in London has worsened since then, with the number of recorded sexual offences increasing dramatically; they rose from a rolling annual total of 18,608 in March 2021, the month Ms Everard was abducted, to 23,647 in December last year. The rolling 12-month figure for reported rapes increased from 7,479 in March to 8,740 in December, an increase of almost 17%. That’s one every hour, on average, and it hardly suggests that the police in London are effective when it comes to protecting women.

Some observers always doubted whether Dick was the right candidate for the top job. They pointed to her role in a disastrous counterterrorism operation in 2005 that ended in the death of an innocent Brazilian electrician, Jean Charles de Menezes. Dick was cleared of any blame but she was in charge of the operation, a circumstance some believed would block any ambition she had to lead the Met.

In 2014 Dick sanctioned Operation Midland, an investigation prompted by the outlandish claims of a man called Carl Beech. He claimed to have been a child victim of a VIP paedophile ring operating in Westminster. Beech falsely accused a series of public figures before his lies were exposed and he was himself sent to prison for perverting the course of justice. Officers were so taken in by Beech’s claims that they encouraged him to repeat them on TV, his identity disguised as “Nick”. Dick was in charge of supervising the detective who publicly described Beech’s allegations as “credible and true”.

In 2016, Sir Richard Henriques published a damning report on Operation Midland that identified 43 failings by detectives who spent 16 months and more than ÂŁ2m pursuing Beech’s allegations. Dick’s response to the criticism came in 2018, when she reversed the Met’s policy of believing individuals who report a rape. No one had ever suggested that complaints should not be investigated thoroughly or that detectives should rush a male fantasist into a TV studio before carrying out basic checks on his credibility. But it’s women who have suffered as the bad old days of scepticism have returned, with almost two-thirds of rape cases in London now ending in victim withdrawal.

Despite all this, politicians fell over themselves to praise Dick’s credentials when she got the top job. “Cressida’s skills and insight will ensure the Metropolitan police adapt to the changing patterns of crime in the 21st century and continue to keep communities safe across London and the UK,” declared the then Home Secretary, Amber Rudd. No one was more fulsome than Khan: “This is a historic day for London and a proud day for me as mayor”, he gushed. “It was absolutely essential that we found the best possible person to take the Met forward over the coming years and I am confident that we have succeeded.” Khan’s pronouncements often sound performative, and it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that he was excited by the fact that Dick was not just the first woman but the first lesbian to hold the position.

Last summer, another dark cloud brooded over Dick’s head. It originated from the independent inquiry into the murder of Daniel Morgan, a private investigator axed to death in a pub car park in 1987. No one has ever been convicted of the killing, and the Met had previously admitted that corruption undermined the original investigation. The inquiry panel described the force as “institutionally corrupt” and criticised serving officers including Dick, who was accused of obstructing its work and causing delays that added further distress to Morgan’s family. Dick apologised to the family but denied the accusation and insisted, to no one’s surprise, that she was not going to resign.

Whether either of the inquiries currently under way will force Dick out is impossible to predict, given that she refuses to resign almost as often as Boris Johnson. But Londoners deserve better, and there is a bitter irony here. The appointment of the first woman Commissioner has been a failed experiment, exposing the urgent need for a Macpherson-style inquiry into misogyny within her own force.


Joan Smith is a novelist and columnist. She has been Chair of the Mayor of London’s Violence Against Women and Girls Board since 2013. Her book Homegrown: How Domestic Violence Turns Men Into Terrorists was published in 2019.

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Terry Needham
Terry Needham
2 years ago

Sack Cressida by all means, if it makes you feel better, but I doubt that it will improve matters. I don’t think that I am being overly dramatic when I admit that I have lost confidence in all the institutions that I once presumed to trust. I feel at times that I am a member of the last reasonably civilised generation to walk the streets of England. And that should worry you, because I am not a saint. Hitting a girl with a truncheon, telling a, presumably, distressed girl that she was hot, are things that I wouldn’t do whether wearing a uniform or not. Those were displays of moral incontinence that ordinary parental socialisation would stop me from inflicting upon the world. As for the Carl Beech fiasco, I wonder how much of this was caused by officers’ determination to show that they were on message. “No one had ever suggested that complaints should not be investigated thoroughly”. Are you sure? To claim that you are a victim seems to be commonly accepted as proof that you a victim. Cressida can’t be expected to turn back these waves. But sack her if you want, Sack Boris as well, but it won’t pay your gas bill if you do.
PS: Don’t use Cressida’s surname or you will be moderated. Perhaps that is the best reason for sacking her.

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
2 years ago
Reply to  Terry Needham

I agree up to a point but leadership does matter. There are other police forces in the UK not beset by these issues. Well led organisations, of whatever stripe, perform better than organisations led by opportunists seeking only personal advancement.

What her tenure clearly highlights is the failure of affirmative action. Recruitment prioritising gender, race or sexuality is always going to lead to inferior organisational performance against recruitment based only on competence as measured by skills, experience and track record.

Last edited 2 years ago by Martin Bollis
Terry Needham
Terry Needham
2 years ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

Agreed, but focusing on the failings of one individual risks ignoring the numerous elephants in the room.

SULPICIA LEPIDINA
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
2 years ago
Reply to  Terry Needham

Come back Doxon of D*ck Green, we need you now.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
2 years ago
Reply to  Terry Needham

There is one reason and one reason only that she go the job.
You don’t need much imagination to envisage our politicians salivating over the ‘optics’

Last edited 2 years ago by Ethniciodo Rodenydo
John Knight
John Knight
2 years ago

Another box ticking exercise! She ticked two! We’ve got to stop this nonsense and promote on meritocracy!

Tom Watson
Tom Watson
2 years ago

“The appointment of the first woman Commissioner has been a failed experiment”
And there I was thinking she’d got the job on merit! Poor old London, what did they do to deserve being experimented upon?

Last edited 2 years ago by Tom Watson
Samir Iker
Samir Iker
2 years ago

There was this fairly accurate saying that how well a society treats its women is an indicator of that society overall, with the implication being (rightly) that even men would benefit greatly relative to other cultures that don’t trat women well.
The corollary is that a if you produce a culture that venerates women’s rights and look down upon the needs of men, especially working class men who most need support – treating higher male suicide rates or father’s rights with contempt, or (as this article shows) assuming male domestic violence victims don’t even exist…..
The outcome isn’t great, even for those exalted upper class women who drove that culture. Bad for men, of course, but turns out we are both in the same sinking ship. The underlying gynocentric principles are not going to change. So for instance, you will have a police that focuses more on “diversity”, promoting women and making the right noises about “women’s rights” than actually putting strong, rough men in uniform and on the streets. And hence, predictable results for safety of common citizens and prevention of crime. Which, incidentally, affects men even more so, which hopefully makes you feel a bit better.  

Last edited 2 years ago by Samir Iker
Penny Adrian
Penny Adrian
2 years ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

This is why Men’s Rights are treated with contempt. Men love to brag about how much bigger and stronger they are than women except when it comes to domestic violence: then they are suddenly all simpering little children cowering before a woman who is half their size and strength.
Yes, of course there are male victims of domestic violence, but men are bigger and stronger than women, so when a man is violent he is much more dangerous and deadly. That’s why it is much worse for a man to strike a woman than for a woman to strike a man (just as it is much worse for a young person to strike an elderly person than it is for an elderly person to strike a young person).
Men are harmed by sexism, but not in the ways that you claim.
Men should be valued based on their character, not on how much money they make or on how athletic they are.
Men should be allowed to express fear and pain without being ridiculed or accused of “weakness”; this by itself would probably reduce the male suicide rate.
Men should be socialized to develop warm interpersonal relationships with women and with other men, so that they aren’t driven mad with loneliness (a loneliness they are forbidden to express).
Men are oppressed in this culture, but they are not oppressed by so-called “feminists”. They are oppressed by men like you, who ignore real suffering and make a straw man out of women who just want to be treated fairly in society.

David Morley
David Morley
2 years ago
Reply to  Penny Adrian

Worse for a man to strike a woman:
It really depends on what you mean by worse. The consequences are generally worse (depending, of course on the strength of the blow), but is it morally worse?
Put another way, is it more acceptable for a woman to hit a man, just because it won’t hurt so much? And if we expect men to control their tempers and not commit acts of violence, should women not be expected to show similar self control? And what about other forms of verbal and emotional abuse?
Do women get a free pass, because men are big and strong and can take it. Or are we to treat them like children who lash out – but it’s ok, because they are not strong enough to really hurt anyone?

David Morley
David Morley
2 years ago
Reply to  Penny Adrian

Penny – appreciate your concern for men, but it’s not really your role to dictate to men what they are oppressed by. Perhaps you should listen to mens voices instead.
You are just interpreting mens suffering and oppression through a feminist lens – a lens which was in no way designed for such a task.

Andrew Mildinhall
Andrew Mildinhall
2 years ago
Reply to  Penny Adrian

I’m from a traditional working class background and I grew up in the 50s and early 60s. I was taught to treat all people, irrespective of their race, colour, creed or sex, with respect. Indeed I was taught to treat women with reverence albeit with expectations about their behaviour which are unfashionable today. During my later teens and early 20s I had a lot of fun with girlfriends but I would not have laid a finger on them without them wanting me to. I found the casual misogyny of some of my male acquaintances repellent although they were never a majority.

I taught my son the same values and he is now a police officer in one of the other large metropolitan forces. I’ve met some of his team. They like him are horrified and disgusted with what has been happening in the Met. Peel rightly knew that successful policing can only happen with the cooperation and trust of the public. It is about leadership but also resourcing. The politicians who have assiduously cut resources to the bone have a lot to answer for.

Claire D
Claire D
2 years ago
Reply to  Penny Adrian

I think the idea that Sexism is a bad thing is false. Men and women are different for all the reasons most people know about – physical, mental and emotional. If you treat everyone the same, ie, equal, then gender becomes fundamentally meaningless, something to be bought and sold in the market place, put on or taken off like a coat.
Men and Women “should be socialised to develop warm interpersonal relationships “, that is most likely going to happen in a traditional family with a father and mother committed to, and supportive of each other. But boys need a different approach to girls in their upbringing, parents, doctors, teachers, psychologists, have always known this, until a few sociologists and feminists in the 1950s and 60s decided otherwise.
If women want men to protect them from predatory men then they must be honest about their limitations, and have some respect for the decent men who would put themselves in danger on women’s behalf.
Trying to feminise men you end up with someone like poor Prince Harry, or the trans situation. You cannot have it all ways.

Last edited 2 years ago by Claire D
Unherd Person
Unherd Person
2 years ago
Reply to  Penny Adrian

“Should… should… should.”
Do you not think feminism has done enough damage to boys, men (and girls, women) already by constantly peddling anti-reality like this?
You really, really do not understand boys and men, please stay away.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
2 years ago
Reply to  Penny Adrian

Undermine chivalry and one produces crude men. Solution. Teach boys to box and dance the Salsa. Salsa dancing improves footwork and produces better boxers which is why the Cubans are so good. Salsa dancing teaches boys to be decorous with girls.

Jonathan Nash
Jonathan Nash
2 years ago
Reply to  Penny Adrian

I don’t know why you have been so downvoted. I think you make some valid points. There is a problem in our society that in the crucial years between about 2 and 8, some young boys are not receiving the parental love which allows them to grow into emotionally stable adults. This is not about feminisation: it is humanisation.

David Morley
David Morley
2 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan Nash

Perhaps because you express it with genuine, rather than ideological, sympathy.
Whether you are right or not is another question. It’s a generalisation, and perhaps your words were ill chosen, but I would say that women tend to be more lacking in emotional stability, and need to be constantly propped up with social media approval.
Feeling free to express one’s emotions is perhaps a different story.
And why do you think it is that boys are not receiving parental love, while their sisters presumably are. Is this sons of single mothers, or two parent families?
Any solid evidence?

Jonathan Nash
Jonathan Nash
2 years ago
Reply to  David Morley

As to the relative emotional stability of men and women, that is deep water. I agree that young women appear to be fixated on the opinions of their peers via social media, but then boys are joining gangs not just for protection, but for friendship, loyalty, respect: these are all emotional needs.
Yes it is about single parents, parents ill-equipped to look after themselves let alone others, the familiar litany I’m afraid.

David Morley
David Morley
2 years ago

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, was said to be “furious” and reported to have put the Commissioner “on notice”. What took him so long? 

Perhaps the fact that she’s a woman.
What this shows, above all, is that simply appointing a woman to such a role will not necessarily make things better for women. It’s competence that gets things done, not gender. Giving women a free pass, or promoting them above their level of competence, just because they are women, doesn’t help anyone.

Marcus Scott
Marcus Scott
2 years ago

People join the police for different reasons. Family tradition was one major driver. After a job in the military was another. Then there are those who join because they need the authority the uniform gives them in order that they can be the bullies they never had the courage to be. The fact is the job attracts a good number of weirdos. Add to that all the Diversity hiring and you have the above.
A few years ago I watched a cop trying to manoeuvre himself out of a police car. He was morbidly obese. The sort that looks like they are waddling rather than walking. But that’s is ok, hopefully he doesn’t have to actually arrest anyone, because he ticked a diversity box based on his ethnicity.
Summer 2020 I ran into a protest on Haymarket. Walking down Jermyn Street were two lines of cops in their riot clothing but not carrying riot equipment. I’ve never seen a less threatening group of people in my life. They looked like they had walked out of the staff room at a kindergarten. At the head of each line was a female with a red cap that denoted leadership of some sort. Neither of them would have been able to bruise a grape if they had to fight a grape. One officer looked the same age as my mother. Mother is 84. I assume the officer was not 84, she just looked it. The men were no better. Slouching along with their wispy, bum fluff beards they looked like not one of them had ever been punched in the face. That is an experience that is quite handy to have behind you if you need to deal with violence.
Anyone who complains about the ineffectiveness of the police force needs to grow up. What do you think is going to happen when you kick out all the thugs and replace them with middle class criminology graduates with degrees from the University of Buttf*ck Nowhere? I will tell you what. You will get videos on Youtube of police officers at a BLM protest running as if for their lives from a group of school kids that is “chasing” them.
For those of you who remember the England rugby teams of the 1980s you can run a thought experiment and ask yourself “would Wade Dooley or Paul Ackford have felt the need to flee in terror from a group of school kids even if there be 100 times more school kids present than there are Dooley’s and Akford’s?”
Only if among them was Federico Mendez who as a 19 year old playing for Argentina knocked Ackford out cold. His punch was a little bit unsporting but admirable for its timing and power.

Mel Bass
Mel Bass
2 years ago
Reply to  Marcus Scott

Lol, so true. Locally, I heard of one naive young recruit who had no idea that violence might be involved in the job until he attended his first lessons in how to restrain violent criminals (and preferably not get punched in the face while doing so). He was so horrified that he quit on the spot. Still, better then than later, on the street, when someone was getting a kicking and he was too scared to intervene.

Marcus Scott
Marcus Scott
2 years ago
Reply to  Mel Bass

As long as this young man was sufficiently empathetic that he could feel the lived experience of the person getting the kicking that is all we can ask of the youth of today.

Kiat Huang
Kiat Huang
2 years ago

“The appointment of the first woman Commissioner has been a failed experiment”

If true, then forcing Londoners into being guinea pigs was a terribly risky and stupid thing to do.

But I hope her appointment was based on factual merit: that she was as good as anyone one else in the frame for the job. For if not – that it was because she was valued as a “double minority” with respect to leading the force – then that, as a political act, is exceptional damaging in so many ways.

Mel Bass
Mel Bass
2 years ago
Reply to  Kiat Huang

‘Factual merit?’ I doubt it. Any police officer will tell you that ticking a diversity box will make it easier to get promotion and much harder to get sacked, even if you do something stupid.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
2 years ago

One needs to determine what are the threats facing Britain today. I suggest the following:- Islamic Terrorism, East European organised crime gangs employing ex special forces and security people; international criminal money laundering using lawyers and accountants; local London gangs, international drug dealers, especially South American; rapists, muggers, high level armed criminals- bank jobs; serial killers, rioters.
What are the qualities needed from The Police to prevent crime from above: – honesty, moral rectitide, industriousness, high level of fitness and unarmed combat skills, good knowledge of the law; ability to out think criminals; language skills; good knowledge of foreign cultures relevant to crime detection and prevention; patience and self – control in the face of provocation, emotional maturity, sagacity
Where likely to find these skills? Those who have reached the rank of corporal and above in Commando/Airborne/ Elite Infantry Units; people with A Levels or degrees in languages, law engineering or applied science who have played contact sports, preferably rugby, boxing and martial arts.
We need to increase duration of training. The most difficult aspect of fitness to increase is upper body strength, the pull up( needed for grappling ). I suggest entry to the Police should require the following ;- 3 pull ups, 40 press ups, 40 sit ups and run 5 miles in 40 mins which is achievable in 6 months. If people cannot achieve this level of fitness before joining the Police they lack the emotional maturity and self- discipline to an Officer of the Law.
The vetting will take months. During this period they should join Aikido/Judo or Ju Jitsu clubs. W E Fairbarin Asst Commissioner of Shanghai Police developed modern un- armed combat from Ju Jitsu in the 1920s and 1930s. At Police College every morning there will be two hours of un-armed combat training. I expect total training period to be increased to about 9 months. We do not need graduates but modern Policing probably needs someone who has the competence of a Corporal or higher from an elite military unit or tough people with A Levels in rigorous academic subjects ( Langages, Maths and Science).
Historically many Chief Constables were ex military officers. Also many sergeants used to join the Police. After WW2, many sergeants had special Forces/Commando/Airborne experience which meant they were tougher and more astute than any criminal.
One cannot put a wise head on young shoulders.The level of stress and risk which can be faced by Police can be extreme so we need people with the sufficient experience to to make the correct decision but also have the fitness and skill to arrest the most violent fit criminals .

George Glashan
George Glashan
2 years ago

But isn’t she doing her actual job really well?
Her real job is to be a massive distraction from all the problems / scandals of citizen Khan or the current prime minister. The bigger the scandal the more eyes she draws away from the rest of the them. Its not how i’d run a police force but i dont think shes there to run a police force either.

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
2 years ago

*Troilus P3nis has failed women

SULPICIA LEPIDINA
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
2 years ago
Reply to  Drahcir Nevarc

That deserves a quadruple uptick, bravo!

Kiat Huang
Kiat Huang
2 years ago

Reading that calamity of a Performance Review tells me that Cressida D*ck is very good at “managing up”. In any PLC she would have been fired or been prepared to resign, i.e. “managed out”.

Perhaps, even if it is a given that D*ck wholly deserves to be demoted asap, she is simply emblematic of the political appointment system.

(Edit: So Unherd has an automated method of transposing unsavoury words in saved comments like “D i c k” into “d**k”. Pity if one’s surname is a swear word! Further edit: even though I’ve edited out the surname my comment is for the first time ever ‘Awaiting for approval”. I’m not hopeful….)

Last edited 2 years ago by Kiat Huang
Mike Wylde
Mike Wylde
2 years ago
Reply to  Kiat Huang

Her surname is also a very recognised abbreviation of the boys forename Richard, not so much used now but extremely common until a few years ago. Middle aged and elderly Richards must get very, very, annoyed at their name being asterisked all the time.

Jonathan Nash
Jonathan Nash
2 years ago

The Macpherson Report which, unlike many, I have read (twice), was a very unbalanced assessment of the murder of Stephen Lawrence, and the handling of the aftermath by the Met, attributing unconscious racism to a number of officers where the evidence cited seemed to show no such thing. It destroyed the confidence of the leadership of the Met to make decisions and be accountable for them, and spawned the current cohort who now occupy senior roles by virtue of having seen how to tick the new boxes on the way up. I don’t think a similar report on misogyny would help matters.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
2 years ago

She has failed women?
So BJ has failed men?
Harry has failed the ginger haired?
Patel has failed Muslims?
Cummings has failed psychopaths?

Terry Needham
Terry Needham
2 years ago

11

Last edited 2 years ago by Terry Needham
Fred Atkinstalk
Fred Atkinstalk
2 years ago

The Met is too big : between the policy makers at the top and the feral thugs at the bottom (not all of them, but a good number) there are too many layers of bureaucracy and adninistrative procedures which delay and dilute the effect of any ‘initiatives’.

If a commissioner wants to implement a change in organisational culture, who are they going to get to implement it? People who have come up through the organisation and who are products of it (and probably rather approve of the culture ‘on the ground’. It’s like bullying in the army : there are many at NCO level who think that a ‘robust’ culture is a good thing.)

Trouble is, if you cull all the bad apples, who is left to do the work?

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
2 years ago

One can be tough but not crude, coarse or vulgar. Robert Graves, infantry officer in WW1, boxer, climber, classical scholar and poet. The Commando /Special Forces Officers were tough and refined, Col Bill Hudson SOE, P Leigh Fermour SOE, Lewis SAS, Stirling SAS and Mayne SAS.

Fred Atkinstalk
Fred Atkinstalk
2 years ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

I completely agree with you, though can I point out that the people you mention were all, as far as I know, ‘officer class’ and (normally) came into the forces as such – they didn’t rise through the ranks. I don’t know whether they would thrive in the present day (I mean, you only need to look at what louts rugby players are in their cups to see that civilisation is a very thin veneer.)
I just wonder how you reverse the rot in an organisation once it gets past a certain level. The ‘canteen culture’ is very difficult to counter once it becomes the norm.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
2 years ago

In WW2 many Commando/SF/RAF officers were educated and remained sergeants or were commissioned, J Cooper of the SAS and Field Marshall Lord Bramhall are examples.
What I think is ignored is that much of the quality of the British Police rested on them being former members of the armed forces. My theory is that as the proportion of Police who former members of the armed forces and overseas police forces, especially those who who had been sergeants and officers of elite units declined, so did overall standards, such as moral rectitude, politeness, fitness and self defence skills. Elite units require more self discipline and years of selective training. There are also jumps in standards required from going from private to corporal and corporal to sergeant.
When it comes to rugby players, when ladies are present vulgar behaviour is not accepted.
I suggest all police personnel are Officers of the Law and therefore need the sense of responsibility, politeness and moral rectitude of officers and gentlefolk. Coarse, crude and vulgar behaviour is not acceptable. If they are unable to comply, then they should leave. This statement could be made by all Chief Constables and the New Commissioner.

Jorge Espinha
Jorge Espinha
2 years ago

She was one of main culprits for the murder of Mr Menezes. Had she not “failed women” would the murder of mr Menezes be okay? This compartmentalization of sexes and races is contemptuous.

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
2 years ago

Did she do a good job for men then?

Graeme Archer
Graeme Archer
2 years ago

Her role in the murder of Jean-Charles de Menezes should have precluded her from any future role in public life. That it didn’t tells us everything we needed to know about her cheerleaders – the ridiculous Khan’t being only the worst.

Francisco Menezes
Francisco Menezes
2 years ago

”Last summer, another dark cloud brooded over d**k’s head.” I cannot help thinking of Austin Powers when reading this article. A lot of tongue in cheek.