With the release of another report about appalling misogyny within the police force, women will be asking ‘Does it never end?’
The revelations from the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) watchdog are depressingly predictable, and worrying because the Wayne Couzens case showed that men with abusive attitudes towards women can progress to more serious offences.
Metropolitan police officers shared messages in social media groups about hitting, raping and knifing women. Using offensive language, some threatened violence to anyone who ‘grassed’ on them. They excused it as ‘banter’. Racist and homophobic remarks were also shared. Group members who felt uncomfortable were afraid to challenge or report it, fearing repercussions. Of 14 officers investigated, only two were sacked.
We have been here before
Last November in the article below, I described long-existing issues about the behaviour of some policemen towards women. After the 2011 case of a Northumbrian officer committing sex attacks, a report recommended that officers should be thoroughly vetted, their behaviour and attitudes scrutinised, and that whistleblowers should be supported. Clearly, these proposals were not effectively established.
This toxic culture stubbornly persists. When will it finally be eradicated? How can women trust the police?