Dominic Raab defends Met police as damning Casey report looms

Dominic Raab has defended the “vast majority” of Metropolitan police officers after the Guardian revealed that an official report will say next week that the force is ridden with sexism, racism and homophobia.

The justice secretary acknowledged on Friday that the Met had a particular problem with vetting new officers. But he defended its new commissioner, Sir Mark Rowley, who he said was doing his best to root out “bad apples”.

Sources have told the Guardian that the Casey review, which was commissioned after the murder of Sarah Everard by the police officer Wayne Couzens, will make for “horrible” reading for the Met, which is now in the “last-chance saloon”.

Raab told LBC on Friday: “The vast majority of police officers within the Met and elsewhere do their job professionally, serve the country extremely well, but we’ve clearly got a problem in the Met. And the thing to do is to own that problem, take it, tackle it head on, and that’s why the Casey review is so important.”

He added: “Whether it’s the Casey review or the brilliant work and timely work that commissioner Mark Rowley is doing within the Met to root out the bad apples, to make sure the vetting is done as rigorously as people expect, we will leave no stone unturned to make sure that the police in this country – and in particular in the Met – are protecting women, not posing a threat to women.”

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Louise Casey has been investigating the Met since 2021 in the wake of Everard’s murder, and has been tasked with looking into the broader culture among its officers. While she was in the final stages of her review, another Met police officer David Carrick was convicted of committing 48 rapes in a wave of attacks that went unchecked by the Met despite warnings about his behaviour.

Casey will single out the parliamentary and diplomatic protection command, where Couzens and Carrick both worked, as having high levels of problematic behaviours.

She will also say the problems began much earlier, and that the force has not fully dealt with the problems identified in the Macpherson report in 1999, which accused the Met of institutional racism. Casey will identify problems with institutional racism, misogyny and homophobia, sources told the Guardian.

The final draft of the report has now been sent to ministers and leaders at the Met, prompting crisis talks in recent days between Rowley and Suella Braverman, the home secretary.

Raab said on Friday: “There’s clearly practices that have been far too prevalent that we must face head on.” But he added that he would not issue a formal report on Casey’s review until it was published.

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