Met appoints Whitehall troubleshooter Louise Casey to wipe out misogyny

Casey is to lead review into lax Met standards after crisis caused by Wayne Couzens scandal

The former Whitehall troubleshooter Louise Casey has been brought in by the Metropolitan police to root out misogyny and lax standards, as it battles to dig itself out of a crisis caused by its mishandling of the Wayne Couzens scandal.

Lady Casey has been appointed by the Met commissioner, Dame Cressida Dick, to lead the review which came after harrowing details of the rape, kidnap and murder of Sarah Everard by Couzens while a police officer were made public.

Dick has accepted the case has dealt a hammer blow to public trust after it was revealed Couzens used his police warrant card to stop Everard, his training and powers to trick her into a car, his handcuffs to restrain her, and then his police belt to strangle her.

The Met then stoked extra anger on itself by suggesting people, especially women, nervous that an officer stopping them was a threat, could flag down a bus.

The review will examine issues including vetting, recruitment, leadership, and training in Britain’s biggest force, which has left ministers concerned as it lurches from regular crisis to crisis.

Couzens, who was an armed officer in parliament and diplomatic protection command, was last Thursday sentenced to a rare whole-life sentence because his crimes and abuse of power were deemed so serious.

The Met also announced a “root and branch” review of the parliament and diplomatic protection command, focusing on recruitment, vetting, culture, professional standards and supervision.

Dick announced the review on Monday, only for the home secretary, Priti Patel, the next day to announce the government was launching its own inquiry. The Met’s handling of the fallout from the Couzens case has tested the patience of the two people responsible for appointing the commissioner, namely the home secretary and London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan.

The Met is trying to demonstrate it can reform to try to regain public confidence. It also announced a review to ensure investigations into claims of sexual and domestic abuse allegations against Metropolitan police service officers and staff.

The force also said it still had officers and staff in its ranks who faced claims of sexual misconduct and domestic abuse allegations over the last decade, and will now examine some of those cases.

Casey has been called in by Labour and Conservative governments to tackle issues such as antisocial behaviour, troubled families, integration and victims’ rights.

She is brusquer than the normal Whitehall insider and in 2013 Casey told the Guardian in an interview: “The Daily Mail don’t like me ’cos I’m female and fat and lefty. Other people on the left think I sleep with the devil.”

The London mayor, Sadiq Khan, welcomed the news that Casey would lead the review and said: “Public trust in our police has been severely damaged and requires urgent rebuilding.”

Dick said of her appointment: “We recognise the grave levels of public concern following the kidnap, rape and murder of Sarah Everard and other deeply troubling incidents and allegations. I have said that we know a precious bond has been broken.”

Casey said: “Trust is given to the police by our, the public’s, consent. So any acts that undermine that trust must be examined and fundamentally changed.

“This will no doubt be a difficult task but we owe it to the victims and families this has affected and the countless decent police officers this has brought into disrepute.”

Everard, 33, was seized by Couzens as she walked home in south London in March 2021.

The review by Casey is expected to take six months and the Met said it would be made public.

The government is still to announce the terms of reference for its inquiry and who will lead it.


Vikram Dodd

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
David Cameron appoints Louise Casey to lead government response to riots
Prime minister announces that Tony Blair's former 'respect tsar' will lead unit to oversee issues raised by summer riots

Patrick Wintour, political editor

12, Oct, 2011 @11:16 AM

Article image
Campaigners and MPs call for misogyny to be made a hate crime
Letter sent to Met police commissioner says women are being left unprotected

Alexandra Topping

14, Jan, 2019 @6:00 AM

Article image
Tory women’s group calls for investigation into police misogyny
Conservative Young Women condemns ‘deplorable’ police response to violence against women

Jessica Elgot

03, Oct, 2021 @2:36 PM

Article image
Troubled families tsar Louise Casey criticised over research
Report into dysfunctional households breached ethical standards, claims researcher

Randeep Ramesh, social affairs editor

24, Oct, 2012 @7:56 PM

Article image
Louise Casey's integration plan is behind the times
It was odd for the government’s tsar to focus so relentlessly on Muslims, and her aggression is likely to be counterproductive

Alan Travis Home affairs editor

05, Dec, 2016 @1:42 PM

Article image
Met police still failing on child protection policies, report finds
Over 90% of 135 cases inspected found to be substandard, despite force repeatedly being told it was endangering children

Vikram Dodd

24, Nov, 2017 @12:01 AM

Article image
Police need to drop 'boss knows best' leadership, says Met contender
Modernisation requires debate over what forces should prioritise in face of changing crime, says Sara Thornton

Vikram Dodd, Police and crime correspondent

13, Jan, 2017 @12:01 AM

Article image
Police demands for potential rape victims' data spark privacy fears
Campaigners say victims could be put off coming forward owing to intrusion into lives

Caelainn Barr and Alexandra Topping

25, Sep, 2018 @4:27 PM

Article image
Sadiq Khan 'deeply saddened' by latest stabbings in London
London mayor appeals for witnesses after knife violence across the city over the weekend

Matthew Taylor

22, Apr, 2018 @3:20 PM

Article image
Gangs’ families should lose council homes – Home Office minister
Police and councils have tested the eviction scheme in north London, Victoria Atkins says

Kevin Rawlinson

22, Jun, 2018 @11:13 PM