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Feminism: Sex & gender discussions

Casey investigation into Met Police sexism

77 replies

ArabellaScott · 21/03/2023 11:01

'The detection rate for rape is now so low in London that “you may as well say it is legal”, one Met officer told a landmark review.

The damning report by the crossbench peer Baroness Casey found examples of bad practice in the way sexual cases were handled including freezers holding vital forensic evidence being too crammed to close and even breaking down.'

'Women and children have been failed by the Metropolitan Police, with racism, misogyny, and homophobia at the heart of the force, a blistering review says.

Baroness Casey says a "boys' club" culture is rife and the force could be dismantled if it does not improve.'

Rape may as well be legal in London, Met Police officer said

Casey review told of catalogue of errors in sex offences unit, including evidence being lost when fridges stopped working

OP posts:
TerfIngOnTheBeach · 22/03/2023 20:35

MavisMcMinty · 21/03/2023 18:06

Yes, maybe that’s it, @TizerorFizz . As a nurse from the 1980s, we were always rather condescending about the very short training period compared with our 3 years, when their starting salary once qualified was higher than ours. Maybe a more rigorous training that not everyone who applies gets through is the way forward, with longer, more meaningful probation periods.

Absolutely! DD an AHP is horrified that coppers can carry out their business without any qualifications or professional body or formal registration to be responsible to. She has seen the best and worst of the police on a Saturday night in A&E and has always said there needs to be so much more accountability on their part. There are too many police on an adrenaline fuelled ego trip.

TizerorFizz · 23/03/2023 00:16

I have great difficulty with the police marching and being like squaddies. I think they need higher qualifications upon entry and maybe 2 years training with the second year as an extended probation period where personality is observed by people who can actually see red flags!

Far greater care needs to be taken regarding recruitment. Far better mechanisms are needed to ensure the police retain consent. These changes must be implemented. It’s no good having the best of intentions if they are not upheld. You can have 20,000 more officers but numbers do not ensure quality. Quality and numbers is, of course, desirable.

Felix125 · 23/03/2023 08:52

It is a 2 year probationary period already for new recruits and they get heavily assessed & observed throughout by external assessors as well as their own supervision.

The Met has always been seen as an easy entry into the police. If you are struggling to get accepted into your local force (they are either not recruiting or you are not successful in the interviews etc) - then you can always try the Met. Stay there for a few years and transfer out. Not sure how easy it actual is compared to other places as I never been in the Met

This could be part of the problem for the Met as they seem to accept recruits that other forces didn't want.

TizerorFizz · 23/03/2023 12:53

How long is the training before probation ? What level of intellect is needed? I remember DD saying the police wouldn’t interest any of her friends from high flying universities. Culture, uniform, attitudes, no fast track to speak of etc. This could be wrong but it seems designed not to attract the brightest. The leaders are part of the culture that promoted them. It’s inward looking and doesn’t seem to be an aspirational career.

I have seen complaints on the education boards that officers should now have degrees. Any old degree. For high quality leadership you need more. The civil service requires more for fast track. The police want Bobbies to mould into the image of themselves. Lots of decent people with skills want to help but not be subjected to canteen culture.

Ponkyandthebrain · 23/03/2023 14:03

Loads of interesting comments. We actually do a lot of external consulting with some mixed results. I think they have a tendency to be impressed by some of our shiny toys drugs, firearms etc and less interested in the departments that deal with violence against women. That’s what all the police on tv do after all! The dramas are rarely about some poor detective with a massive caseload of rapes trying to do their best. That would be a very depressing watch.

I agree about two year probationary period Felix but not sure whether there is value in the idea of re assessment/re qualification. In theory this is done through PDR but that’s very much neglected because our HR departments have been so stripped back through austerity. I think the likelihood of really change being enforced here given current budgets and expectations is a bit slim unless the next Home Secretary really gets into it.

We’ve recruited a lot in the last few years. It doesn’t begin to replace what we lost through not recruiting for so long. Policing is a weird job because you learn it by doing it more so than in the classroom. It takes years to be good at it and some people never will be. We’ve lost so much experience that our tutors are little more than kids themselves. Additionally one of the reforms of Windsor was that the starting salary is lower. We don’t recruit career changers very often anymore because they can’t afford to take the financial hit so our recruits are invariably very young now and the attrition rate is high because it really a difficult job especially for a young person who is likely to get a lot of flak from the public.

Im interested in the poster who had a colleague leave because of bullying? Was that the direct entry scheme or usual route? I know the former has had some real issues and I think wrongly the poor officers who have joined up on that have borne the brunt of poorly thought out schemes and inadequate training for the role. Not an excuse though is it.

Lots of police officers have degrees of all kinds. I think it will always attract a mix of people. Whilst it requires a modicum of intelligence you also need to be happy to tackle a big great drunk/off his face bloke trying to do bodily harm to you every Friday/Saturday night. Someone running at you with a knife, or worse. The crumpled bodies and the overwhelming sea of grief of their families. It’s a world away from the safety of the lecture halls of your history degree let me tell you! But honestly the most rewarding job I’ve ever had and I hope I won’t do anything else. The feeling of sending some nasty bastard to prison and giving someone a sense of justice for what’s been done to them will always be worth all the nonsense.

TizerorFizz · 23/03/2023 17:26

Thats very interesting.

I think some recruits just shouldn’t do the drunk round up on a Saturday. Why can’t the police do horses for courses? Some are more in tune with this work but it’s not for everyone. Maybe two career routes would work? Health service has it. Doctors don’t do basic nursing. The Police cannot move away from forcing everyone down the same route which is a turn off.

Ponkyandthebrain · 23/03/2023 17:47

Problem is you don’t know what you are going to or dealing with. I’ve had all sorts of bizarre situations happen that you could never anticipated when sent to a job. You can specialise but you always need to be prepared to deal with conflict and violence and you have to be or become the sort of person who enjoys dealing with those difficult situations really well. That attracts some really great people who have the patience of a saint but sadly it also attracts some macho types who think they can fight everyone. I do think the last type are less usual, they’re not very popular as they tend to create problems for everyone by blowing up every situation.

The direct entry route does seem to be attracting people but we will see what the retention is like. It may be the answer to a problem of recruitment of detectives but I’m a bit concerned about their ability to deal with conflict. You’re much less likely to get your head kicked in CID but I think the emotional toil has been the greatest here for me.

TizerorFizz · 23/03/2023 23:11

There are huge areas of crime investigation that are not violent. This is exactly why the police gets hard nuts. They like the aggression. It’s not for everyone but you think it should be. Hence decent people won’t go near the police.

Ponkyandthebrain · 24/03/2023 08:10

I disagree, if you’re a warranted police officer you should be capable of dealing with violence unless you are for some reason restricted due to a health issue. I run a department of detectives and my expectation is that they go out and make arrest attempts. I’ve had both fists and tables thrown at me in interview rooms because we are often dealing with the most unpleasant people who don’t like being challenged about their behaviour. I don’t particularly enjoy that but I’m capable of dealing with it because of my training and my 10 years of knowing when someone is likely to hit me and that I need to duck.

Its definitely not a job for everyone nor do I think it should be. I’ve seen people leave because they’re just not cut out for that and I wish them all the best finding the right job for them. But I don’t think it makes you hard nuts to be willing to stand up and deal with people like that. Yes there are ‘macho’ types who seem to instigate aggression rather than try to diffuse it. They’re not very good police officers and they annoy everyone by creating volatile situations instead of trying to calm people down.

We’ve never actually had an issue of recruitment in the past. It’s the coupling of having to recruit 20 thousand of the right sort of people very quickly and the lowering of the pay scale to mean that people who are little older with families or mortgages just can’t make it work.

I think there is something in what Felix has said that standards are have been historically lower in the met though. People tended to move there for short periods and transfer back home if they could.

Felix125 · 24/03/2023 09:24

I think some recruits just shouldn’t do the drunk round up on a Saturday. Why can’t the police do horses for courses?

Because the situations that police deal with are that varied, they have to be prepared for anything. Seemingly non-violent situations can suddenly spiral out of all control.

You won't have the resources to have officers set aside to just deal with one type of incident - sudden deaths, missing from homes, mental health breakdowns, concerns for safety, DV, thefts, public order etc etc

You need to have officers capable of dealing with everything - and the only way you can really do this, as Ponky says, is by direct experience dealing with it.

TizerorFizz · 24/03/2023 11:48

My point is that they don’t! Change!!! This is why the police are so poor. You don’t all need the same skills. It’s this “group think” that means you are not as effective as you should be. You don’t work in financial crime. What about fraud? Or other intellectual crime? There’s no need to do what you say is required for investigating thsss crimes. It’s this macho aporia h that’s so damaging. It’s myopic.

The police need to be attractive employers. Saying all recruits must do the same thing is utterly ludicrous in this day and age. Try looking at how other organisations work. Too much inward looking and inability to change has brought you down.

Felix125 · 24/03/2023 12:17

So if you work in fraud investigation and you attend an address to arrest a suspect - and they kick off - what does the arresting officer do? What skill set can they now use to control the suspect? Other back up is miles away and takes ages to arrive even on blues - and if there is any available.

Or what if they kick off in the interview or in custody and you need to control them into a cell?

Most other organisation will pass on volatile customers to the police of similar enforcement officers (bailiffs etc etc). Police officers don't have that option - they have to deal with whats in front of them - we can't pass it on.

They other thing that often happens is - fraud investigation officer attends to arrest a suspect, but its negative (suspect isn't there). On their way back to the station a DV incident or other emergency comes in which they are close to - they must attend it - so they have to have the skill set & experience to deal with it. The investigation will be passed on to another department, but they need to be able to deal with the initial incident.

TizerorFizz · 24/03/2023 15:47

Well there you go. Everything comes down to violence. It means a macho force and then you get the issues with the wrong people joining. No room for a different approach. No wonder it’s all
gone wrong.

Felix125 · 24/03/2023 16:11

I didn't say you have to be violent to deal with it - but you need to be prepared for someone who is. You need to be able to respond and alleviate them if you can - but be prepared that they may just get more and more violent. And you need to able to deal with it because its happening right in front of you. You're best weapons are always your mouth & ears - but it sometimes isn't enough.

Or it could be when the fraud investigator arrives at the address - there are clear signs of a child at the address who may be subject to grooming or ACE's which they have to be able to spot and deal with. They might be other offences there - a cannabis farm or abstracting electricity - who knows what they will find. They will need to know their powers for searching under PACE for these matters also. So they need experience in dealing with everything.

Or the incident they get called to on the way back to the station might not be a violent DV - might be a sudden death, or a vulnerable missing person or a mental health breakdown or a traffic incident.

They need to be able to deal with a whole host of things as the police generally can't pass this on to anyone else

Ponkyandthebrain · 24/03/2023 16:19

TizerorFizz · 24/03/2023 15:47

Well there you go. Everything comes down to violence. It means a macho force and then you get the issues with the wrong people joining. No room for a different approach. No wonder it’s all
gone wrong.

But you’re calling two women violent machos because we chose to a job that is important and necessary. Is that an issue of your own stereotypes of how women should be? I’m not saying that to be critical but I do think it’s an issue for many of us. The police gave me a confidence I never had before because of the way women are socialised. I realised I didn’t have to be deferential in every situation and I could use my voice and sometimes my physical strength if needed to do my job. There are some really smart women working on response who can control 95% of tense situations with their words and their presence.

Ponkyandthebrain · 24/03/2023 16:19

Sorry Felix I’m making an assumption here!

Felix125 · 24/03/2023 16:25

I agree with you - the amount of violent situations that are de-escalated by just talking them down is far greater than having to use force against them.

But - as an officer working in any department, you need to be prepared for any situation and have the skills & experience to deal with it.

TizerorFizz · 24/03/2023 16:37

I’m not just talking about women. I’m talking about any recruit. I’m sure you love your job. Others who have a lot to offer might be put off by continual reference to violence, bastards and taking people down. You might enjoy the physical side of it, but makes others run a mile. Men and women. You come across as rather liking using your physical prowess which I find a bit disconcerting. The police attracts this attribute though. My DD is a barrister. Women are not remotely deferential in her world. They use their intellect not brawn. You seem to have some sort of adrenaline rush re tense situations and violence. This is off putting to others. It certainly attracts the wrong sort of men far too often.

Ponkyandthebrain · 24/03/2023 17:11

To comment on my ‘physical prowess’ I’m 5ft 4 and a size 8 so I’m not particularly terrifying!! It probably should put them off though shouldn’t it. In a lot of ways it’s an extremely difficult job. Emotionally and sometimes physically. I couldn’t be a criminal barrister. Not because I’m a big grunt who is as thick as two short planks but because the idea of defending someone that I know has raped a child doesn’t sit well with me. I use that example because that has mostly been my line of work. I know on an intellectual level it needs to be done but in my heart I couldn’t do a good job of it. Nor would I be comfortable with a lot of the practices about how it is done. It’s horses for courses and its a good thing there are different people in the world who are able to do different things.

I’m not obsessed with violence, far from it. But I’m capable of dealing with it because that’s part of the requirements of the job. You can do that without being a thug and most of us manage that just fine. More women are joining than ever before, they often make brilliant police officers because their instinct is to use it as a last resort and use their voice and brain first. I think the idea of you finding this disconcerting is disconcerting! We all have biases to challenge which is rather the point of this thread and maybe that’s yours.

The police will always attract weirdos. Like all professions where you have access to vulnerable people. I have a lot of horror stories to tell on that point believe me. Vetting and management should be able to deal with that. There has been a complete failure of that in the met.

I think coming back to Casey the issue in the met is one of management, vetting and culture. There are lessons to be learnt for all forces about choices we have made with our money. The met is probably too big a force to deal with the scale of its cultural issues as it’s never gotten to grips with it. I hope it’s broken up and at least some of the diplomatic, CT function taken away from it so they can focus on better policing in their community.

Felix125 · 25/03/2023 01:43

I'm not saying you have to expect a violent conflict or be a 'violent' person yourself. You may be called for a concern for safety, mental health issue, vulnerable missing person, sudden death, suicidal person etc etc

You need to be able to deal with them in case you come across it in you capacity as a financial investigator. You're a police officer and if you're the closest unit to an emergency, you need to attend and deal.

So I would argue that you do all need the same skills. You can specialise into various departments, but you still need that initial skill set.

Ponkyandthebrain · 25/03/2023 03:03

Are you on nights as well Felix? I’m not my best self tonight it’s my first one and I’m tired already.

NumberTheory · 25/03/2023 07:27

TizerorFizz · 24/03/2023 15:47

Well there you go. Everything comes down to violence. It means a macho force and then you get the issues with the wrong people joining. No room for a different approach. No wonder it’s all
gone wrong.

I think the problem is that it does all come down to violence. Those who operate outside the law do so under all sorts of circumstances, but a huge number of them (male or female, this isn’t just a macho thing) will use violence to get away if they can. And if you are trying to enforce the law, you will need to be prepared to meet that violence.

Police do have civilian roles in the services, they have civilians operating in major incident rooms collating and assessing data, they have civilians as forensic scientists doing SOCO work. They have civilians doing specialist consulting in fraud. I believe some places have tried civilians to interview children and sexual assault victims - I don’t know if that’s worked well or if it’s been problematic when it comes to having to arrest or interview a suspect if the police personnel with the most intimate knowledge of the allegations can’t do it. I know that they used to use female officers to interview victims and then male detectives to interview suspects and that was problematic in some ways.

The other issue that the police have is that every now and then they need huge numbers of officers to deal with public disorder. If they hive off significant numbers as “non-violent” they won’t be able respond to those incidents and the army will have to be called in instead.

TizerorFizz · 25/03/2023 09:58

I’m talking about using intellect to solve crime!!! Not general policing. I’m talking about fast tracking those with intellect. As the civil service does. Of course all crime solving is not violent. Just ridiculous!

Felix125 · 25/03/2023 10:35

yes - but your 'intelligent crime solving person' will still need to go out and arrest people, know what powers of search they have, interview people.

They also might come across other incidents while they are out dealing with their investigations. They might be the closest unit to an ongoing incident - vulnerable person, missing from home, sudden death, DV. You can't have officers who can just pick and chose which emergencies they got to.

TizerorFizz · 25/03/2023 14:04

Yes you can! Of course you can.

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