Advertisement
News

‘They’re failing women’: Met Police ‘isn’t always’ recording domestic abuse or stalking

Officers are also failing to record reasonable grounds for carrying out a quarter of stop and searches, His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services said in a damning report

The Met Police is not always recording domestic abuse or stalking cases, a damning report has found.

Officers are also failing to record reasonable grounds for carrying out a quarter of stop and searches, His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) said.

The report calls into question the force’s ability to investigate crime and support vulnerable people and adds to a series of crises facing new commissioner Mark Rowley. The Met was placed into special measures in June over its handling of the murder of Sarah Everard and the strip-search of a schoolgirl in Hackney.

Your support changes lives. Find out how you can help us help more people by signing up for a subscription

It is also currently being investigated by the IOPC over the fatal shooting by armed police of Chris Kaba.

On the failure to always record domestic abuse or behavioural crimes such as controlling or coercive behaviour, stalking and harassment, the report stated: “The force needs to improve its recording of violent crime. Many victims of these crimes are victims of long-term abuse. It is important to record these crimes and meet the needs of victims, including safeguarding them.”

Advertisement
Advertisement

While the force has improved how it records rape offences, the watchdog discovered some cases where reports took more than three days.

Reclaim These Streets co-founder Jamie Klingler, who took the Met to court over its handling of a planned vigil for Sarah Everard, said the Met was “absolutely failing women”.

“I am almost out of words. It just feels so hopeless, it’s just about getting the paperwork off of their desk,” she said.

“It’s an avalanche of failure and we are at the bottom of the heap.”

Matt Parr, His Majesty’s inspector of constabulary, said: “For a considerable time, I have had growing concerns about several aspects of the Met’s performance.

He added: “Our latest report describes many successes and some examples of innovation. However, it also raises serious concerns about how the force responds to the public and the level of understanding the force has about its demand and its workforce.”

Get the latest news and insight into how the Big Issue magazine is made by signing up for the Inside Big Issue newsletter

The Met was graded inadequate at responding to the public by HMICFRS. Workers dealing with vulnerable victims often had unmanageable workloads resulting in overtime and rest days being used to try and keep up, HMICFRS added.

However, the report did find that the Met was good at preventing crime and anti-social behaviour.

Parr said: “We did find some positives in our inspection. The Met is good at preventing crime and anti-social behaviour, and has developed innovative techniques to improve how it collects evidence and identifies offenders, such as its new forensic technique for detecting the presence of blood on dark clothing and its new rapid testing kit for drink spiking.

“Given our findings, we are now monitoring the Met under our Engage process, which provides additional scrutiny and support, and I will continue to closely monitor the force’s progress.”

Ruth Davison, CEO of Refuge, said the findings should “shock us all”.

Davison added: “Refuge knows that these are crimes that are not prosecuted at a rate consistent with their estimated prevalence. Without proper recording by police officers, how are survivors supposed to access justice and protection through the courts and secure their safety?

“It’s clear from the conclusions of the report – as well as recent trials into the misconduct of serving officers – that the Met Police needs to take immediate and robust action to ensure it sees violence against women and girls as the serious crime that it is. This must start with the basics; recording crimes properly and consistently, ensuring mandatory training for officers to take a more trauma-informed approach with survivors and rooting out misogyny within its ranks.

“The new Commissioner has a real chance to prove to women and girls that he is serious about protecting them – I urge him to make an unequivocal commitment to immediate and measurable progress on tackling misogyny wherever he sees it across the force.”

Advertisement

Sign our petition to keep people in their homes

Urgent action is needed to prevent even more people being pushed into homelessness.  A secure home is the first step in addressing the cruel cycle of poverty to ensure people can fulfil their potential. Join us to keep people in their homes.

Recommended for you

Read All
Rishi Sunak is overseeing biggest tax rises since Second World War, IFS think tank finds
Tax rises

Rishi Sunak is overseeing biggest tax rises since Second World War, IFS think tank finds

How young people in prison are getting a fresh start by giving free haircuts to the homeless
Rehabilitation

How young people in prison are getting a fresh start by giving free haircuts to the homeless

'Substantial efforts' needed to improve knowledge of homelessness, landmark UN report says
homelessness

'Substantial efforts' needed to improve knowledge of homelessness, landmark UN report says

All of Keir Starmer’s u-turns and abandoned policy pledges, from child benefits to private schools
Labour

All of Keir Starmer’s u-turns and abandoned policy pledges, from child benefits to private schools

Most Popular

Read All
Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits
1.

Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal
2.

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal

Here's when people will get the second cost of living payment in 2023
3.

Here's when people will get the second cost of living payment in 2023

Citroën Ami: the tiny electric vehicle driving change with The Big Issue
4.

Citroën Ami: the tiny electric vehicle driving change with The Big Issue