Sarah Everard: Baroness Casey to lead review into Metropolitan Police

9 October 2021, 01:24 | Updated: 9 October 2021, 02:00

Baroness Casey of Blackstock will lead the review.
Baroness Casey of Blackstock will lead the review. Picture: Alamy/Metropolitan Police

By Emma Soteriou

Baroness Casey of Blackstock will lead a review into the Metropolitan Police following the murder of Sarah Everard.

Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick announced the appointment on Friday, saying it was an "important step in our journey to rebuild public trust" which would scrutinise the force's vetting, recruitment, leadership, training and "all manner of processes to see how they reinforce the best possible standards".

An "urgent examination" is also under way into all current investigations of sexual and domestic abuse allegations against Met police officers and staff, the force said.

Dame Cressida said: "Louise is extremely experienced and highly respected and I know will ask the difficult questions needed for this thorough review."

The review is expected to take six months, with the findings and recommendations published so that the force can "improve and make sure the public have more confidence" in police.

Read more: Officers should not be re-vetted in wake of Everard murder, police chief tells LBC

Dame Cressida added: "This will build a stronger Met, ensure lasting improvement our service to London and public confidence in us.

"I hope her appointment and the significant urgent actions we are taking will go some way to provide immediate and vital reassurance to Londoners."

Read more: Thousands sign petition for Night Tube to reopen to keep women safe after Everard murder

Baroness Casey - a crossbench peer in the House of Lords, independent advisor on social welfare and former government official - said: "Trust is given to the police by our, the public's, consent. So any acts that undermine that trust must be examined and fundamentally changed.

"This will no doubt be a difficult task but we owe it to the victims and families this has affected and the countless decent police officers this has brought into disrepute."

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan also welcomed the appointment of Baroness Casey to lead the independent review.

In a series of tweets, Mr Khan said: "Baroness Casey's review must look into the wider culture of the Met Police, including issues of misogyny, sexism, racism and homophobia as well as thoroughly examining recruitment, vetting, training, leadership and standards of behaviour among officers and staff.

"I've been clear with the Met Commissioner about the scale of the challenge we face and the change that's needed, and I will continue to play my full part in holding the Met Police to account on behalf of Londoners."

Officers from the professional standards department will review each current case of sexual or domestic abuse allegations against those on the force, looking at vetting and conduct history, to make sure the investigations are "absolutely thorough" and that victims are being "properly supported".

They will also look at a sample of cases from the last decade of sexual misconduct and domestic abuse allegations where those accused remain on the force to "check appropriate management measures (including vetting reviews) have been taken", the Met said.

The spotlight will be shone on the force's Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command - which Ms Everard's killer Wayne Couzens worked for - with a "root-and-branch review" looking at whether there are any "specific issues" within the unit.

The review is separate to the independent inquiry announced by the Home Secretary Priti Patel on Tuesday, which will look into the "systematic failures" that allowed Couzens to be employed as a police officer.