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20 Feb, 2022 14:28

London cops face record-breaking sex offense allegations – report

Sexual offense complaints against the Metropolitan Police hit a decade high, with the majority coming from within the force
London cops face record-breaking sex offense allegations – report

The number of sexual offense complaints against London’s Metropolitan Police officers soared to a decade high in the year following the brutal murder of Sarah Everard, a Telegraph report on Sunday revealed. The majority of these complaints were made by other officers.

According to figures obtained by The Telegraph under Freedom of Information laws, 251 allegations of sexual assault, harassment or other sexual offenses were made against the Met’s officers and staff last year. Of these, 190 allegations were made internally by colleagues, an increase of 104% on 2020 and 206% on 2010. The vast majority of those accused, some 87%, were male.

According to The Telegraph, the findings “shatter the record for the number of sexual assault allegations against the force’s personnel in a single year.”

For the Met, the report is another damning headline after more than a year of scandals. In September, police officer Wayne Couzens was handed a whole life sentence for falsely imprisoning, raping, and murdering Sarah Everard the previous March. A month later an officer was charged with the rape of a woman whilst he was off duty, and last month an officer was hit with a litany of new sex crime charges, bringing the total number against him to 29.

Amid mounting allegations of officer misconduct, a report in October found that the Met is the worst force in the country at solving sexual and violent crimes.

“This data reinforces the mountain of evidence showing that the Met has a serious problem with institutional misogyny,” Andrea Simon, director of the End Violence Against Women Coalition, told The Telegraph. “While the increased number of recorded allegations may in part reflect greater awareness and inclination to report following high profile cases like the murder of Sarah Everard, the data does indicate the scale of sexual offending by Met Police officers.”

The report also drew attention to the apparent lack of consequences for officers accused of sexual misconduct. Campaigners told The Telegraph that the independent chairmen who oversee misconduct proceedings often hand out overly lenient punishments. Out of the 217 officers and staff who had complaints lodged against them last year, just 11 were charged with a crime.

Throughout the Met’s recent scandals, the force has been led by Commissioner Cressida Dick. However, Dick resigned earlier this month, saying that Mayor Sadiq Khan “no longer [had] sufficient confidence in my leadership.” In a statement, Khan said that he was “not satisfied” with Dick’s plans to purge the force of the “racism, homophobia, bullying, discrimination and misogyny” identified in an independent report published a week earlier.