by Joan Smith
Friday, 1
October 2021
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Sack Cressida Dick

Someone must pay the consequences for the Met's failures
by Joan Smith

It’s hard to imagine a more abject admission of failure. Here is Scotland Yard, telling women what to do if stopped by a lone male officer who is behaving suspiciously: we should “seek assistance” by shouting to a passer-by, running into a house or waving down a bus. Waving down a bus? And the Met police commissioner, Dame Cressida Dick, is still in her job?

When the country’s largest police force is reduced to advising women to rely on bus drivers and dog-walkers, we really have gone through the looking-glass. The police are paid to protect the public, but now the Met is telling us to throw ourselves on the mercy of strangers because we don’t trust its officers. 

And we are right not to trust them. The sentencing of Wayne Couzens, the serving officer who abducted, raped and murdered Sarah Everard, confirms what many of us have been saying for years. It isn’t just that the police are not doing their job — although the vanishingly small conviction rate for sexual predators shows that they aren’t. 

They don’t understand the behaviour of perpetrators, so much so that they don’t even recognise dangerous men in their own ranks. Couzens was a firearms officer in the Met, authorised to carry a weapon, despite being reported to colleagues for several incidents of indecent exposure — the most recent while he was planning the abduction that has sent him to prison for the rest of his life.

What about his colleagues? There were 594 complaints of sexual misconduct against Met employees between 2012 and 2018, of which only 119 were upheld. The Centre for Women’s Justice has launched a super complaint, highlighting failures to protect victims of domestic abuse and arguing that women are being let down when they turn to the police for help.

Not just let down: in April, a PC was dismissed from the Met after hitting a teenage girl at least 30 times with his baton. The girl, who was black and had learning difficulties, had approached him for help after running away from an escorted walk. He has not been charged with any offence. The following month, two Met officers pleaded guilty to taking selfies with the bodies of two sisters who has been savagely murdered in a park in north London.

Following Couzens’s conviction, it has emerged that five serving officers, including three from Scotland Yard, are being investigated for sharing racist and misogynistic messages with him on WhatsApp. A probationary officer in the Met, who later helped guard the area where Ms Everard’s remains were found, has been investigated over allegations that he shared a violent graphic on WhatsApp.

This is not just a case of the “occasional bad ‘un’”, in Dick’s repellent phrase. It reveals a culture where too many male officers have contemptuous, misogynistic attitudes towards women. Victims who report serious crimes, including domestic abuse and rape, are treated as though they are the criminals. They have their lives torn apart, while predators like Couzens are free to walk the streets — or check out handcuffs and a gun, in his case.

This week’s revelations have shamed the police. They have got away with failing women for decades, all the way back to those terrible episodes of victim-blaming during the Yorkshire Ripper investigation in the Seventies. The Home Secretary needs to sack Dick and announce a public inquiry into institutional misogyny within the police. Nothing else will do.

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George Glashan
George Glashan
1 year ago

she’s not stepping down and she didn’t get fired following the Daniel Morgan inquiry which found the MET to be ‘institutionally corrupt’ with Dame Cressida personally censured for obstruction . She’s the modern establishment through and through, says all the correct Guardian / BBC talking points, meanwhile knife crime soars. She is more interested in policing hurt feelings than stopping or solving crimes. The MET is rotten this case has showed they cant even vet their own officers properly.

rodney foy
rodney foy
1 year ago
Reply to  George Glashan

BTW, Dame Cressida is not liked by the Guardian

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
1 year ago
Reply to  George Glashan

I don’t disagree with your sentiments. However, the question remains. Why has she not been forced to resign? She is the obvious scapegoat that could be sacrificed so that the Met continues as before, unreformed, corrupt and criminal. The only feasible answer is that she knows where bodies are buried. Might that include the truth behind the murder of de Menezes ?

R S Foster
R S Foster
1 year ago

…more likely the truth behind the Tory/Establishment “paedophile ring” that not only wasn’t, but was probably deliberately confected by the Labour Left…although why a Tory Home Secretary is backing her is a mystery…

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
1 year ago
Reply to  R S Foster

She was involved in that too.
So Menezes, Carl Beech and now Sarah Everard: there is nothing a lesbian can do that’s so bad it gets her fired.

Josh Cook
Josh Cook
1 year ago

This is just bizarre. I would love to know what the met could have done differently to stop this guy.

His own wife had no idea he was capable of anything like this.

Why does someone at the Met have to ‘pay’ – just to make people feel better? The person responsible for this will never see the light of day.

I think as smarter people than me have pointed out that liberalism paradoxically leads to god being replaced by the state. An omnipotent creator is replaced with an omnipotent administrator an illusion of god like powers is projected onto institutions.

This spiritual attitude is now completely widespread in society and the media. They have delusions about the competency of human institutions because of a lack of understanding of the tragedy of life.

It maybe harder to accept that sometimes you can do almost everything right and something terrible still happens – but just because this is hard doesn’t stop it being true.

Last edited 1 year ago by Josh Cook
Claire D
Claire D
1 year ago
Reply to  Josh Cook

Well said.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
1 year ago
Reply to  Josh Cook

They could have sacked him for the indecent exposure incident in 2015 or the flashing incident 3 days before he murdered Sarah Everard, for example.

Jonathan Ellman
Jonathan Ellman
1 year ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

If that’s true then then should have prosecuted him with the fullest force of the law. It’s a double crime, the first for the crime itself and the second for the abuse of a position of responsibility.

Claire D
Claire D
1 year ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

These were not officially “incidents”, they were alleged to have happened, that’s all. Only now can we surmise they were probably true.

Last edited 1 year ago by Claire D
Niobe Hunter
Niobe Hunter
1 year ago
Reply to  Claire D

One of the incidents was recorded on CCTV

Martin Dukes
Martin Dukes
1 year ago
Reply to  Josh Cook

I think there is some truth in this. The death of God has led to the elevation of the state to replace him. Likewise, no longer believing in an after-life leads to a preoccupation with extending this one ad-infinitum and the growing fetishisation of ‘safety.’

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Dukes

Completely agree with you. The abolishment of God means we set ourselves or others up in His place.

Mike Smith
Mike Smith
1 year ago
Reply to  Josh Cook

There is lots of evidence that Couzens was a bad’un e.g. exposing himself, swapping extreme pornography and even that fact he was called ‘the rapist’ by colleagues (all listed in articles on the BBC web site no less).
As for Cressida d**k, she is at the centre of many errors by the Met Police e.g. the Jean DeMenendes shooting. The woman is a walking train wreck.
It is clear to anyone by d**k that discipline in the Met Police under her command is non-existant.

Niobe Hunter
Niobe Hunter
1 year ago

Waving down a bus! It’s difficult enough to get them to stop at a bus stop if their timetable is out of line.

D Hockley
D Hockley
1 year ago

I agree with Joan Smith here. This is a failing so bad that it has torn the very fabric of our society. Sacking the idiotic and utterly incompetent Cressida (I am not allowed to type her surname…LOL) should be just the beginning. There then needs to be held a thorough investigation in to what the Police should be via a vis what the Police have become. Years of stupid, woke and nonsensical policies have taken focus away from real crime and allowed this ghastly state of affairs to have unfolded.

Last edited 1 year ago by D Hockley
Jon Redman
Jon Redman
1 year ago

She was also in charge of the operation that killed Jean Charles de Menezes. She should have been sacked then.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Not sure that is fair to Dame Cressida. The firearms officers were clearly sent into the tube with orders to liquidate Jean-Charles de Menezes on sight, but the people to blame are those who briefed them, and/or those who set the general guidelines for using firearms in a a terrorist situation. Dame Cressida did neither, AFAIK.

Of course it is a scandal that the police decided after de Menezes that no one made any mistakes, there were no need to change any procedures, and in short they had every intention of acting the same way next time. But if there are no consequences when the police kill the wrong person ‘by mistake’, why do we get so het up because there was a single criminal in the police?

Al M
Al M
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

“But if there are no consequences when the police kill the wrong person ‘by mistake’, why do we get so het up because there was a single criminal in the police?“

Because there were no consequences from one massive f!!k up, we should NOT be concerned about a subsequent one? Well, that’s how it reads.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago
Reply to  Al M

I can see your point – it is a line of argument I generally abhor. But I think there is a disproportionate reaction in this case, compared to de Menezes. Granted, it is scary to feel that the next policeman who stops you might be a rapist. But how big a ‘f!!k up’ was this? Do we even know? There can be rapists in any profession – including policemen. Cousens had clearly never done it before. So, did he give clear signs that he was a likely violent criminal, ahead of time? Should he have been investigated or fired on what was known back then – and how many (hundreds?) of other policemen would have triggered the same flags without proceeding to rape anybody? Of course this should be investigated, to see what can be done better next time. But we ought to wait to react till we know the answers.

Why such a big reaction, then? No minister gave interviews about guaranteeing that ‘this should never, ever, ever, ever, ever happen again‘ after Jean Charles de Menezes – or John Worboys. An important reason, IMHO is that this fits into an existing agenda. There are people who already want to change police culture, recruit different people to the police (which people, and from where?), change the power relationships inside the force (to favour whom?) massively increase the resources given to rape cases (and take them from where?). and generally move towards a more feminist society. And so this rape case is a useful handle to push for changes that people already want fo other reasons.

Ferrusian Gambit
Ferrusian Gambit
1 year ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

The important thing of course is she went to the right school and university and knows the right people.

Guy Aston
Guy Aston
1 year ago

Some years ago I socialised with a good number of Met police officers. Some were great guys, but some we always thought were attracted by the uniform and the power it gave them. They really should not have been police officers. Human nature being what it is, I have no reason to believe this has changed.

David Uzzaman
David Uzzaman
1 year ago
Reply to  Guy Aston

So we mustn’t recruit police officers who are attracted by the uniform and the power it gives them. How’s that going to work?

Dawn McD
Dawn McD
1 year ago
Reply to  David Uzzaman

It works by putting applicants through a thorough psychological assessment that weeds out people who are seeking the job for the wrong reasons and should not be allowed to carry weapons have authority over other people. Not a perfect system but better than not doing anything.

Edward H
Edward H
1 year ago

And once she’s gone can we replace her with someone that won’t just set all their PC PCs at their PCs to make sure we are all being PC?

George Glashan
George Glashan
1 year ago

she’s not stepping down and she didn’t get fired following the Daniel Morgan inquiry which found the MET to be ‘institutionally corrupt’ with Dame Cressida personally censured for obstruction . She’s the modern establishment through and through, says all the correct Guardian / BBC talking points, meanwhile knife crime soars. She is more interested in policing hurt feelings than stopping or solving crimes. The MET is rotten this case has showed they cant even vet their own officers properly.


Last edited 1 year ago by George Glashan
Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
1 year ago

There is an interesting lecture by Tom Ricks arguing that theUS army was more effective in WW2 because Marshall was willing to move Generals who weren’t succeeding or had lost the confidence of their troops and often redeploy them where they would be a better fit.
Unfortunately there is a reluctance to move senior police officers even when they are not succeeding. That said Cressida D.should probably not have reached the rank she occupies because of previous failures but is not really responsible for the failures to identify Sarah Everard’s killer as unsuitable to continue as an officer. In any case had he been dismissed from the force there was nothing to prevent him using a fake warrant card to carry out his abduction and murder.
In France they have recently identified an ex-police officer as a serial killer, so it’s not just a Met problem.
Apparently, one of the reasons for not replacing Cressida D.is that the next obvious choice is even more of a woke obsessed nightmare.

Last edited 1 year ago by Jeremy Bray
Niobe Hunter
Niobe Hunter
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

I used to have a connection with Metropolitan Police Recruitment. It was acknowledged that quite a high proportion of applicants were further towards the criminal end of the aggression scale than was desirable. On the whole, they tried hard to filter them out. Of course, you do need a certain amount of aggression and mental toughness to deal with the grim events that the police cope with, so it’s a hard balance.
I do feel, though, that if I had worked in an organisation where someone was nicknamed, openly, ‘the rapist’ – and not as sarcasm- I would have raised this with my bosses and they would have certainly been concerned.

Terry Needham
Terry Needham
1 year ago

It will take more than sacking one person to effect change.
And while I don’t wish to belittle your concerns as a woman, it isn’t just women who are being let down by our police force.

Edward De Beukelaer
Edward De Beukelaer
1 year ago

I have no insight in the work and/or leadership of the C. d**k but asking to sack somebody does not always solve the issue. Should we not consider that ‘she will take the blame’ is sent away and somebody else comes in and nothing changes if she is sacked…??. Bad habits in the police will sadly not change overnight, they change little by little over sad events as the ones discussed here: society asking questions .. It is never just, fair or right, it is the always a too slow evolution for the better (sometimes) of our society.

Chris Milburn
Chris Milburn
1 year ago

This article is an amazing combination of woke idiocy and some sensible thoughts.
The “vanishingly small” conviction rate is because these crimes are very hard to prove in an objective way, unless we throw out due process and “#believeallwomen”. Given that there are women who are crazy/vindictive/criminal and those who think that being whistled at is the same as being held at gunpoint and raped, convicting every man who is accused is a bad approach.
The other trope here is using anecdotes to make it sound like abusive, criminal, misogynist police are more common than not. To actually mean anything one needs a denominator. I can give lots of anecdotes of horrible car accidents. Are they “common”?
Perhaps a good way to work towards better policing is to realize that most police are decent folks working in a supercharged political environment trying their damndest to do a reasonable job. Start there, point out the bad apples, and leave the rhetoric aside.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
1 year ago

Obviously the Met Police like other forces has many problems, most of which go back many years. But this knee-jerk ‘sack someone’ is a rather depressing if all-too-common reaction. Just rearrange the deck chairs.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
1 year ago

You may be right, but we don’t know. However, this comes over as a little bit like the whining of the so-called victims whom I (and probably you) abhor.