Tuesday, March 5, 2024
HomePolicingRefuge's open letter to the Home Secretary: The police must change

Refuge’s open letter to the Home Secretary: The police must change

Refuge, a charity for women and girls against domestic violence, collected 30,610 signatures for an open letter to the Home Secretary Suella Braverman, demanding immediate changes are made to the policing system to protect women and girls.

“The police are failing women and girls,” Refuge said in the open letter. “We need immediate action, not just platitudes.”

“Following the publication of the Casey Review, and further to our recent letter, we are writing to urge you to take immediate action to radically reform the police force,” open letter read.

“The damning findings of Baroness Casey’s report, shine a light on the institutionally racist, sexist and homophobic practices and culture at the heart of the Met, which have been allowed to go unchallenged, putting the lives of women and girls at risk.

“We wholeheartedly disagree with the response from you and the Met Commissioner Mark Rowley that this is not an institutional problem.

“Time and time again, this has been found to be patently untrue and, as we highlighted in our previous letter following the sentencing of David Carrick, this is far more than ‘a few bad apples’.

“This is a widespread and deeply entrenched attitude that threatens to seriously undermine the government and police force’s claims that tackling violence against women and girls is a policing priority.”

Refuge addressed the Home Secretary: “As Home Secretary, you must intervene to ensure this is not just another report that is ignored by the Met and that the lessons are learned and applied to every police force.”

The letter comes after David Carrick, a former Met officer, was revealed as a serial rapist along with Wayne Couzens, another ex-Met officer who abducted, raped and murdered Sarah Everard.

In response to Baroness Casey Review into misconduct at the Metropolitan Police Service, Ruth Davison, Refuge CEO said: “This 363-page damming report is horrifying reading but tells us what we already know from our frontline work that the Met Police is institutionally misogynistic, racist and homophobic.

“As it stands, the force is currently unwilling and flatly refusing to fully acknowledge this reality.  

“For any progress to be made, these findings must be fully accepted and acted on as a matter of urgency by The Met’s commissioner Sir Mark Rowley, as it is only by addressing the “institutional” nature of these routine failings that reform can begin to take place. 

“Violence against women and girls (VAWG) is supposed to be a national strategic policing priority but what’s clear in this report is the Met’s VAWG strategy is little more than words on paper.

“It does not protect women and girls and is not fit for purpose.”

In the open letter, Refuge also listed their demands from the Home Secretary:

“Introduce immediate suspension of police officers or staff with allegations of domestic abuse and VAWG (violence against women and girls).

“Take a zero-tolerance approach to all incidents of police perpetrated domestic abuse or VAWG.

“Fast track legislation to improve vetting and disciplinary standards to apply across all police forces.

“Introduce mandatory training on VAWG for all officers, developed in collaboration with the specialist VAWG sector. Including how to respond to police perpetrators.”

Open letter can be read here.

(Source: Refuge)

(Image: Pxfuel.com)

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