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Casey report strongly criticises Met police for child safeguarding failures

The much-publicised independent review by Baroness Casey into the standards of behaviour and internal culture of the Metropolitan Police Service suggests that the force must address long-standing concerns about its child protection and safeguarding practice.

In the reviews final report Casey says ‘The de-prioritisation and de-specialisation of public protection has put women and children at greater risk than necessary. Despite some outstanding, experienced senior officers, an overworked, inexperienced workforce polices child protection, rape and serious sexual offences.

She continues ‘It is more than six years since the 2016 HMIC report into child protection was described as “the most severely critical that HMIC has published about any force, on any subject, ever.” But the Met’s child protection service continues to have major inadequacies.’

‘The Met’s Violence Against Women & Girls strategy rings hollow since its claim to be prioritising ‘serious violence’ has really not included the crimes that most affect women and girls. Those investigating domestic abuse are also under considerable pressures, with unmanageable caseloads and poor support for victims.’

“Recommendations continue not to be addressed, problems become more severe each year and improvements are not sustained”.

“The Met has not listened, and it has not learned. Nor has it suffered any consequences for running services for children about which HMICFRS continue to have serious concerns,” she says.

The review recommends the Met must provide better protection for women and children with the introduction of a dedicated women’s protection service; a new children’s strategy; and re-instating sexual and domestic abuse services as specialist functions.

In response to the report, Met Police Commissioner, Sir Mark Rowley said ‘The appalling examples in this report of discrimination, the letting down of communities and victims, and the strain faced by the frontline, are unacceptable.

“We have let people down and I repeat the apology I gave in my first weeks to Londoners and our own people in the Met. I am sorry.’

Read the full report here.

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Published on 13th April 2023