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  • Writer's pictureBen Westwood

Baroness Casey report on the Met Police - A care leavers view - Part 2

Updated: Mar 27


Before I get into the report, I thought I'd talk about what I've heard mentioned in the following recording of Baroness Louise Casey speaking to the Home Affairs Select Committee following a report on London's Metropolitan Police Force regarding the expected standards of behaviour.

Already in the half I've currently watched there has been a lot of progressive points made which deserve reflection from more of us, so time for me to rewind and highlight what I believe needs covering. Perhaps I'll look deeper into the report once I've done more editing on my current book regarding the stigma towards care leavers and those experiencing homelessness as I don't want to get too side-tracked, but the video alone gives plenty of chance for reflection.

I'd not heard of Baroness Casey before the review but from what I'm seeing in this video she seems a good un, and I'm grateful for her bringing up some of the tougher issues to talk about which are all too often brushed under the carpet.

I think there's part of this committee meeting missing on this particular video, but anyhow there's still plenty to discuss, lets get into it.

I'm not sure if this video had been purposefully cut by Reuters or not for dramatic effect, I would have put the sky news version up but it's a defunct edit which cuts out every few seconds which is rather annoying. Anyhow, a fiery start to this video with Conservative MP James Daly quoting that he has no evidence that the Metropolitan Police can change and asks what changes current chief commission Mark Rowley advised to make in one of his current roles as deputy.

A reasonable question to ask perhaps, one that always needs a look-over in any situation but still I like to think the best purpose here is getting to the real long-term roots and real grit of the problem. Perhaps if Rowley had been proven to have failed completely miserably then fair enough, but from what I've heard him say currently I feel people should give him a chance here.

I don't necessarily agree about the issue with Rowley's previous role but still respect him putting it under a close microscope because I suppose any true committee will bring a person into the spotlight and in the grand scheme of things it will be those with the most genuine integrity that we will see weather it, one of those 'only time will tell' things I suppose.

I certainly can't knock him when he says that nothing happens to those officers in senior roles that have been shown to be incompetent at best. At the same time though I think Baroness Casey is on the mark when she says that this needs to be challenged on a much wider level than just a few individuals. Perhaps it's an issue that stems way outside of policing even.

In it's much deeper roots this a human issue. Selfishness, ignorance, a failing to truly connect with the world around and a mere reflection of the same things that are infecting workplaces and other organisations.

I'm sure the things that I'll go on to see in this report deep down won't be specific to the police, but a guide on how incompetence and the failing to challenge unhealthy behaviours and abuses happens all throughout society, and because these things can easily seem so normal unless your an outsider then these things are happening in all other environments around us too, but often in a sort of silence because of various dynamics. Thinking it's normal, or maybe the mere shock and denial that it can actually be happening, knowing who to trust when you call it out. There's a lot to it all I guess.

Hackney MP Diane Abbot asks Casey if why there'd been reports about the Met being institutionally racist back for decades that anything was going to change now. I feel for the decent coppers when I hear that one though, but equally those that have been on the receiving end of it in all of it's various forms and outcomes.

Baroness Casey replies by admitting that it's a complete mess and makes it clear in her own words that if this chance to make reform is taken by the Met then she'll be back at the committee to ensure it happens. Good to hear, let's hope so.

She's bang on when she says that to make the reform that the Met need to bring external people in to help be a part of the misconduct system. But I also think the Met along with other police forces could do with a much wider external influence from other parts of society too. Whether it's fresh eyes taking a look at a stale and warped environment or it's those from different walks of life that can help educate others it can happen on various levels.

I think the things like talks and presentations from abuse victims or employment whistleblowers can be a great thing, as well as the presentations about racism, misogyny and homophobia .....BUT.....I think there needs to be more creative ways.

Growing up as a homeless kid in London, my road to ridding myself of any racism I might of been around prior growing up had easily left me in a more natural way. I'm thinking like community event sports matches and things like that where the full might of the community diversity along with the spirit in the air brings a connection that can only be achieved through that direct connection.

Within that comes the battle of weeding out those that won't ever change from those that might just be victims of a toxic culture and put into the right environment with the right ethics might actually thrive to help be part of a much healthier system.

Diane Abbot goes on to bring up the subject of vetting, which is something that many people including myself have been shouting about for years upon hearing the many stories that come out in the media.

I'm trying to work out who the guy is that claimed that the vetting system needs to be changed across the country and not just the Met. If anyone knows please let me know, I'm not too sure that he's on the parliamentary website. Anyhow, he's right.

Diane abbot then goes on to explain a story about a former police commissioner that came in the 1970's called Sir Robert Mark that made it his goal to stamp out corruption in which over 400 CID officers got sacked as well as some leading officers going to prison.

She goes on to explain how he had detailing arriving to the Met from Leicester and being in complete surprise of how routine the corruption was inside of it.

In a nutshell (as much of this writing) Baroness Casey replies with detailing how the arrogance is more than well in view of how some police officers begin to think they are untouchable because of a culture of keeping everything out of external influences.

I witnessed that arrogance during my prosecutions against the police, and all respect to the two detective sergeants putting the case together who I know for sure came under fire against the expected siding of them over myself. Fair play, and thank you.

She goes on to explain about how systems need a way of being constantly kept in check to ensure that the wrong people that might seek out the job for nefarious reasons aren't getting in the roles, in which she brings up the issue of those working with children as a prime example.

This brings me the chance to sort of bring up a relevant advertisement I suppose, in which in my book and homelessness and stigma one of my chapters is about a person that some of you might be aware of from a news interview in the USA or a Netflix documentary known as Kai the hitchhiker.

Anyhow, he's calling out for efficient screening of government officials to ensure sex offenders don't get into into government positions over in the USA, and hopes that his concept will plant some seeds and spread across the world, so definitely check out his campaign and help by signing his petition by CLICKING HERE.

Well they all go out for a break and the video pauses at 13:33 and so this gives me too a chance to chill out for a minute and so I'll be back to cover more sometime in part three. Peace :)


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