Met Police Branded ‘Institutionally Sexist’ After Conviction Of Serial Rapist David Carrick

Andy Cooke denied there was "rampant misogyny" in the force.
Andy Cooke and Diana Johnson
Andy Cooke and Diana Johnson
Parliament TV

MPs have accused the Metropolitan Police of “institutional sexism” after officer David Carrick was exposed as one of Britain’s most prolific sex offenders.

MPs on the Commons’ home affairs committee grilled the head of the policing watchdog Andy Cooke over misogyny in policing.

The chair Dame Diana Johnson called out what she described as “institutional sexism” following a raft of scandals surrounding the force.

Meanwhile, a Tory MP accused police of “rampant misogyny” in their consideration of rape and sex assault cases.

It comes after Met Police armed officer Carrick admitted dozens of rape and sexual offences against 12 women.

Carrick, known to colleagues as “B***ard Dave”, humiliated his victims, branded them “slaves” and locked some in a cupboard under the stairs for hours without food.

The chief inspector of constabulary Cooke denied that the force was institutionally sexist and said that misogyny is a “societal issue”.

Cook said there was a problem with the vetting approach, adding: “Undoubtedly there are significant issues with policing culture. But misogyny is a societal issue not just a policing issue.”

Johnson interrupted him: “But that’s no excuse Mr Cooke...”

He told her he was just making the point that policing needs to be held to higher standards due to the powers they have.

Johnson asked him: “Do you think the police service is institutionally sexist?”

He replied: “No I don’t. If we look at the fact we now have more female police officers than before. On the most recent intakes four out of every ten officers are joining are female officers.

“Policing has come on leaps and bounds over many many years in relation to this.”

Johnson read out a report by the inspectorate that said in too many places there is a culture of misogyny, sexism and predatory behaviour towards the public and female officers.

She told him: “I think actually we should call this what it is and it’s actually institutional sexism.”

James Daly and Diane Abbott
James Daly and Diane Abbott
Parliament TV

Diane Abbott, former Labour shadow home secretary, said she could not think of a case in wider society where someone was convicted of 24 cases of rape.

“Are you sure you are saying that there is nothing particular about policemen and their attitude to issues of gender?” she asked Cooke.

He told her the vast majority of officers did not hold that view or approach.

Abbott told Cooke no-one around Carrick raised concerns and he was promoted by his seniors, asking: “Doesn’t that speak to a culture in the Met?”

She went on: “It’s culture isn’t it? That’s why he wasn’t identified.”

Cooke said he could point to plenty of officers who had been identified by other officers for wrongdoing and having the wrong approach, adding: “It’s not universal.”

Abbott pressed him on the poor outcomes for rape and sexual assault cases - crimes which predominantly affect women.

Cooke said it is an “absolute disgrace” that it can take up to 700 days for a rape case to come to trial but this was not the result of “misogyny”.

He said the whole criminal justice system has to work together to ensure that victims get justice.

Cooke said the issue with referring rape and sexual assault cases to the Crown Prosecution Service was not a “misogyny issue at all”.

However, Tory MP James Daly tore into him, saying: “You’re a man who has obviously spent a lot of time - over 30 years - in the police force. Some of your answers here today appear to be not an impartial assessment of the police but actually a defence of police.”

He went on: “The major issue regarding matters getting to court is that police officers are not referring allegations of rape to the CPS. We have a charge out rate of 1.5%. In my view, I’ve looked for all sorts of reasons for this, there has to be an attitude of misogyny in the police force that is allowing all of these cases not to be prosecuted.

“Let’s be blunt about it, not all of those cases are people lying or not telling the truth it is because police are taking a deliberate attitude to female victims of crimes.”

Cooke told him he was not being defensive and that not enough were being prosecuted. He added: “This isn’t about my independence or not. This is about a very complex issue that policing are doing the best - in my view - to improve. It is not happening quickly enough.”

Daly told him there was “rampant misogyny” in the consideration of vulnerable cases, but Cooke hit back saying that was “not true” citing successful schemes helping vulnerable people.


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