Just ‘Banter’: Report reveals disturbing messages sent by Met Police officers

A recent report from the IOPC (Independent Office for Police Conduct) revealed 14 police officers have been investigated

Hannah Gul-Khan
14th February 2022
Image: Charing Cross police station
A recent report from the IOPC (Independent Office for Police Conduct) revealed 14 police officers have been investigated where messages including misogyny, racism and threats of rape were shared.

An article from the Guardian detailed the exchange of one male officer to a female officer: “I would happily rape you… if I was single I would happily chloroform you.”

Two of the nine officers have been fired for gross misconduct but there are worries that this is not enough. The Met Police have denied accusations that this behaviour is institutional, claiming it only represents a small minority of its force. When asked for a comment on the abuse, officers insisted the comments were meant as 'banter'.

The Director of the IOPC, Sal Naseem, responded to these concerns in an interview with Good Morning Britain, to which he said, “From this report, as much as the issues of trust and confidence get surfaced again, it’s equally important that officers who are potentially going through something similar who might be victims feel empowered to come forward.”

The messages follow the recent rape and murder of Sarah Everard, a 33-year-old marketing executive who was killed in March of last year. Everard's death sparked national outrage, stressing institutional flaws and violence employed by those in power.

Many took to social media to voice their frustration. Broadcast Journalist Rachael Venables expressed her concerns at the offensive actions of the police, posted via a thread on Twitter.

With the reputation of Scotland Yard once again under fire, chief Cressida Dick has told her officers that "enough is enough". Pointing to “poor conduct and nasty and inappropriate behaviour”, Dick said this behaviour was unacceptable.

Former chief prosecutor Nazir Afsal said, 'only new leadership will do' with calls for a 'judge led enquiry'

In reference to the comments, Newcastle University student Kayleigh Fraser said, ''I think it's frightening that the people who are meant to protect us have a inherent disrespect for women and the wider community''

English Literature student Peter Bath said, ''This reveals a horrific culture of misogyny against women, both within the police force and general community''

The Met Police said it was 'deeply sorry' for the 'reprehensible behaviour' of its officers with promises to 'stamp out unacceptable behaviour'.

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