The Metropolitan Police will train its officers to “identify and call out sexism and misogyny” from their colleagues as part of its drive to reduce violence against women and girls.
A new 10-point action plan, released on Friday, sets out the steps the force is taking internally and externally to tackle gender-based violence and discrimination.
The Met was found to be “institutionally racist, sexist and homophobic” following a review by Baroness Casey earlier this year.
Her report uncovered wide-ranging evidence of misogyny, harassment and bullying by officers at Charing Cross police station in central London between 2016 and 2018.
The force has also been hit by a series of scandals, including former officer Wayne Couzens using his role to kidnap, rape and murder Sarah Everard in 2021, the force’s handling of a vigil held in her memory, and the unmasking of former officer David Carrick as a serial rapist in February 2023.
Since details of Couzens’ crimes emerged, the force has increased its focus on ‘violence on women and girls’.
Met’s 10-point plan to tackle violence against women and girls
- Work to eliminate police perpetrated domestic abuse and sexual offences;
- Improve how we listen to those impacted by violence against women and girls (VAWG);
- Demonstrably prioritise violence against women and girls by investing resources to improve capacity and capability;
- Tackle sexism and misogyny in the Met;
- Look outside the Met for ways to improve our response to violence against women and girls;
- Do much more to identify and tackle the most dangerous and prolific perpetrators of violence against women and girls;
- Make better use of police powers to protect women and girls;
- Take action to improve support and care for victim survivors of domestic abuse and other violence against women and girls;
- Identify high risk and high harm locations for violence against women and girls;
- Focus on preventing violence against women and girls through our strongest ever neighbourhoods programme
The new plan stresses the need for a “whole Met response”, including holding its own officers and staff to the same standards as the public.
It will involve a “new programme to transform the Met’s culture”, including “training all new and current officers to identify and call out sexism and misogyny” – with a review in six months.
The plan also says individual records will be checked so that “repeat patterns are spotted and stopped” when officers move around or to the force.
“Data collected from intelligence and reporting” will be used to identify staff still engaging in sexist behaviour, it adds.
Other measures include investing in the community safety unit, whose primary focus is dealing with domestic abuse.
Met Deputy Assistant Commissioner Helen Millichap said a comprehensive internal analysis in the new year would lead to “a really clear training design” on sexist and misogynistic guidelines.
“Whereas I think previously the danger has sometimes been that more work is seen as the domain of public protection teams and the investigators, this is taking a much broader, holistic whole system look at it,” she told a media briefing.