'Can you help us?': Mock police signs call for overhaul of Met after leaked messages

4 February 2022, 13:13 | Updated: 4 February 2022, 13:21

Signs calling for an overhaul of the Met Police have been put up in Charing Cross
Signs calling for an overhaul of the Met Police have been put up in Charing Cross. Picture: Women's Equality Party

By Daisy Stephens

Mock police appeal signs have been erected in Charing Cross calling for an independent inquiry into misogyny in the Met.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

The Women's Equality Party (WEP) - a political party campaigning for women's rights and gender equality - put up the signs around the central London area, where the police officers who sent misogynistic, homophobic and racist messages were based.

Sharing images of the signs on Twitter, the WEP wrote: "SPOTTED: Charing Cross Met officers described domestic abuse & sexual assault as 'banter'.

"So, WE covered Charing Cross with our demands for an independent inquiry into misogyny & a radical overhaul of the Met Police. #EnoughIsEnough."

Read more: Rape threats and Auschwitz jokes shame of Met cops revealed by watchdog

Read more: Police culture of rape threats and racist abuse not just in the Met, watchdog chief warns

The signs read: "We are appealing. Can you help us?"

The signs then feature an extract of the messages, where one officer encourages others to physically assault their partners because "it makes them love you more".

Beneath the text, the sign reads: "Are you disgusted?

"Please phone the Home Secretary to demand a statutory inquiry into misogyny and radical overhaul of the police:

"020 7219 3528

"The Police cannot stop violence and discrimination if they do not recognise it in their own ranks."

Also sharing the images, WEP leader Mandu Reid wrote: "It's not just a few bad apples, it's the whole orchard… there is a CULTURE of misogyny and sexism in the Met Police.

"How much more will it take for police leaders and politicians to stop burying their heads in the sand?

"Do more women have to die or be harmed?"

The messages, revealed in a report by the police watchdog, found a number of rape threats, racist abuse, and vile jokes about the holocaust had been shared in private messages between officers based at Charing Cross police station.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) made a series of recommendations to the force, which has been falling under increasing pressure since the murder of Sarah Everard by a serving police officer.

Read more: 'Humiliated' lecturer tells LBC Met Police are 'pathetic' for 'degrading' strip-search

Watch: Some people won't have money left after paying for essentials, warns Rachel Reeves

The IOPC probe began in March 2018, after an officer was accused of having sex with a drunk person at a police station.

The messages, where officers joked about rape and made a number of racist comments including references to Auschwitz, caused outrage amongst politicians and the public.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said he was "utterly disgusted", whilst Home Secretary Priti Patel said the "sickening" officers had abused the privilege of being in the police.

In total, 14 police officers were investigated, with two being dismissed for gross misconduct.

British policing is 'rotten from the inside out'

A Met statement said: "The conduct of a team of officers at Charing Cross police station in central London does not represent the values of the Metropolitan Police Service.

"We are deeply sorry to Londoners and everyone they have failed with their appalling conduct and acknowledge how this will damage the trust and confidence of many in the Met.

"Since this reprehensible behaviour was uncovered in 2017 we have taken a series of measures to hold those responsible to account and stamp out unacceptable behaviour."

But whilst the IPOC said it "welcomed" the steps taken, "more is required".

"Our recommendations focus on the identified cultural issues and aim to ensure that those who work for the force feel safe with their colleagues and that communities feel safe with those whose job is to protect them," said IOPC regional director Sal Naseem.

"The MPS has to enjoy the trust and confidence of its own officers from diverse communities before it can hope to bridge the gap in trust and confidence with the communities it serves."

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Members of The Eagles, from left, Timothy B Schmit, Don Henley, Glenn Frey and Joe Walsh

Criminal case over handwritten lyrics to Hotel California goes to trial

Robin Windsor died aged 44.

Robin Windsor had just £879 in his company’s business account when he died after earning £100k salary on Strictly

Xielo Maruziva fell into the water on Sunday afternoon

Pictured in his Spider-Man outfit: Boy, 2, who fell into river as parents tell of heartbreaking search for their son

People enjoy the beach in the late afternoon sun, December 23, 2022, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Young girl dies after deep 6ft hole she was digging in sand collapses on her at South Florida beach

Cliff Mitchell has been found guilty of multiple counts of rape, including three counts against a child under the age of 13.

How rapist cop who was recruited to the Met after a failed investigation went on to attack women at knifepoint

A resident looks for belongings in an apartment building destroyed during fighting between Ukrainian and Russian forces in Borodyanka, Ukraine (Vadim Ghirda/AP)

EU agrees new sanctions against Russia as Ukraine war’s second anniversary looms

Cliff Mitchell was found guilty of multiple counts of rape.

Former Met Police officer found guilty of multiple rapes and kidnap while serving in ‘sickening’ case

A cordon has been put up across Keyham in Plymouth after a WW2-era bomb was found

More than 1,000 evacuated after WW2-era bomb discovered at Plymouth home during garden building work

Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, left, talks with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi as he arrives for a delegation level meeting in New Delhi (Manish Swarup/AP)

Greek PM asks India to build global ties amid wars in Ukraine and Middle East

Indian farmers who have been protesting for a week to demand guaranteed crop prices wait to march to New Delhi (Altaf Qadri/AP)

Man dies as clashes erupt between police and protesting farmers in India

Polish farmers drive tractors in a convoy in Minsk Mazowiecki, Poland as they intensify a nationwide protest against the import of Ukrainian foods and European Union environmental policies (Czarek Sok

Poland concerned by pro-Putin slogans at farmers’ protests

Russian prison bosses at the Arctic penal colony where Alexei Navalny was "detained and killed" have been banned from the UK and had their assets frozen

Russian bosses of Arctic penal colony where Alexei Navalny was 'detained and killed' sanctioned by British government

Rishi Sunak would not repeat Ms Badenoch's claims when asked at PMQs.

Rishi Sunak refuses to repeat Kemi Badenoch's claim ex-Post Office boss ‘lied’ about delaying compensation

ChatGPT began speaking in Spanglish for some users

'It's gone crazy': ChatGPT users share AI's bizarre 'Spanglish' replies as tech firm admits 'unexpected responses'

Maxim Kuzminov, who defected to Ukraine, appears in a video released by Ukraine's Defense Intelligence agency in September 2023.

Russian defector gunned down in Spain 'contacted his ex' as body found riddled with bullets in underground car park

France Eiffel Tower

Striking workers close down Eiffel Tower for third day ahead of Paris Olympics