Policing as a whole needs a deep drive and reboot
I sympathise with the decent officers who joined the police force for the right reasons. I was working at the BBC when the Savile scandal broke – I stopped admitting where I worked. However, police need to recognise that predatory characters want careers with high-status employers like the BBC, Policing, Banking, politics, faith organisations, academia, social services, the NHS, or the charity sector. This is because they crave status, power to abuse, and opportunity. The types of status will differ according to the industry they chose – I don’t think Harvey Weinstein would have wanted to be a police officer! Also, all these employers are good cover for offending – no one wanted to believe Jimmy Savile was a child abuser (on an industrial scale) – he was a celebrity and raised massive amounts for charity – great cover.
It is no accident that Wayne Couzens and David Carrick were specialist armed officers. The West Midlands police officer under investigation, in the clip above, for having sex with two women, filming it without their knowledge, and then sharing the footage with colleagues – is also a specialist officer with an elite firearms unit.
What is it about firearms units that particularly attract abusive personalities?
What gave offending officers the sense of entitlement they needed to do what they did? Abusive personalities bully to provide cover for their offending, encouraging colleagues to look the other way. It too much trouble to question – in some cases career suicide. So bullying isn’t some side issue – it needs to be considered central if the issues facing policing are to be addressed successfully. Decent officers are bullied out of doing the right thing.
How can predatory, abusive characters be stopped from entering the police force, and how can those already on the inside be spotted and ejected? Interviews to become a police officer need to be conducted by experts in profiling or at least profiling trained. Are those interviewing as capable of spotting and targeting possible deceit in a candidate – as these experts are? https://tinyurl.com/557nyzu9
Perhaps interviews should include boot camps to test applicants. On channel 4’s SAS competition training, the candidates were generally warned at the beginning that they were being watched at all times. Later when sent off to complete a circuit of physical tasks, one competitor did fewer jumps than she should have. She was pulled up about it, saying if the task had been a matter of life or death, how could she have been trusted? She physically completed the competition but lost a winning place due to that deficit of integrity. Should applicants to be police officers not be tested in similar ways? Should someone be planted to say discriminatory things – to test when applicants will do the right thing? There needs to be explicit instruction to all serving officers about what should police officers serving with offenders have done. What should all officers do in future? God knows they have enough case examples.
Police officers need to be empowered to police their own ranks. Loyalty to the job should be so strong that officers can’t resist the urge to do the right thing and report colleagues if they say racist things, for example. Wayne Couzens’ nickname amongst colleagues was ‘the rapist’ David Carrick’s nickname amongst colleagues was ‘Bastard Dave!’ In the future, all those serving with abusive officers must be challenged (and potentially disciplined) as to why they didn’t report the abuse. Not reporting abuse amongst colleagues should become akin to not reporting a crime.
During the clip above, Dame Vera Baird, Victims’ Commissioner for England and Wales, said that no police officer should keep their warrant card while under investigation. When police officers being investigated for misconduct are moved away from front-line duties, why do they need a warrant card?
Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley’s refusal to describe his force as institutionally misogynistic, racist, and homophobic is a mistake. If it were not institutionally misogynistic, racist, and homophobic, then surely these problems, first exposed as ‘institutional racist’ in Macpherson Report in 1999, would have been solved by that institution itself. I think BBC Woman’s hour makes the point – the Met had all the stats the Casey report used and didn’t recognise their potential implications. That’s institutional blindness; that’s institutional misogyny, racism, and homophobia. Is Sir Mark Rowley capable of saying “Toxic Masculinity?” Ignorance in policing is no defence when people die as a result https://tinyurl.com/3ccn2c96
All police officers should read the report. There needs to be a conclusion among officers as to how the report will change the way they do their job. I know policing is underfunded especially when you consider they now cover for other underfunded public services. Perhaps policing should work out what it will cost to change – and ask for it. Also, all police officers should be mental health first aiders. Mental Health First Aid England do a brilliant day course that will change the way police officers think about the most vulnerable in our society and will ensure their and their colleagues’ mental health https://tinyurl.com/b9h8bu4f
#metpoliceuk #CaseyReport #WestMidPolice #EliteFirearmsUnits #ToxicMasculinity @metpoliceuk @H3lenKirkman @damelynneowens