No question more men ‘capable of violence’ are still Met officers – campaigner

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The co-founder of social justice organisation Reclaim These Streets has said “there is no question there are more men” in the Metropolitan Police “capable of the violence” carried out by killer Wayne Couzens and serial rapist David Carrick.

And while Jamie Klingler believes a damning review by Baroness Louise Casey, conducted in the wake of Sarah Everard’s murder by Couzens in 2021, provides the “route map” to a total overhaul of the force, she is not convinced the necessary measures will be carried out.

The Casey report found the force to be institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic.

“I think it is guaranteed that we have seen the worst predator in the Met until the next one,” said Jamie Klingler. “This system has been built to protect them and not us.

“Nothing’s been done to prevent another Wayne Couzens. Why wouldn’t we expect another David Carrick or another Wayne Couzens?

“There is no question there are more men on the force who are capable of the violence they carried out.”

Ms Klingler said the report vindicated the work of Reclaim These Streets, which was founded in 2021 and has fought a legal battle with the Met Police over the policing of a vigil for Sarah Everard.

amie Klingler from Reclaim These Streets speaks to the media in Clapham Common, south London
Jamie Klingler from Reclaim These Streets speaks to the media in March 2021 (Aaron Chown/PA)

“Baroness Casey does not pull a single punch,” she said. “She is giving a route map and saying exactly what you need to do to make this right.

“It’s painful and it is going to take a lot of time and a lot of money and a different group of people involved.

“What they have done in the past is given up it lip service, but not actually implemented it. If that happens, then the Met needs to be disbanded.”

Ms Klingler continued: “What Baroness Casey is doing is dismantling that system, dismantling the foundation of what has been built to protect and serve the men who have been hired by the Met, rather than the women it is supposed to serve and protect.

Sarah Everard vigil court case
Reclaim These Streets founders Henna Shah, Jamie Klingler, Anna Birley and Jessica Leigh celebrate after judges ruled that Met Police beached the rights of the organisers of a planned vigil for Sarah Everard (Yui Mok/PA)

“I don’t know if this can get better, but the chance is by following the report to the letter.”

She said the failure to act on the McPherson Inquiry which found the force institutionally racist in 1979 following the death of Stephen Lawrence provoked concern of how much change would come from the report.

“I hope by accepting this report and taking what Baroness Casey says on board that maybe there’ll be another result,” she said.

“But I am not as hopeful as the Mayor’s Office and as Baroness Casey.

“There’s decades of culture. And it’s going to take a lot more than just the same old platitudes.”

Sarah Everard death
A woman places a candle in Birmingham in March 2021 after the Reclaim These Streets vigil for Sarah Everard was officially cancelled (Richard Vernalls/PA)

“Cressida Dick just wanted to call it bad apples or a one-off,” she said. “At what point is it a rotten orchard?

“It is not good enough just to acknowledge the racism. The organisation has to be anti-racist, anti-sexist and it has to be anti-homophobic.

“The bar has to be set higher and at the moment the bar is on the floor.”

She continued: “In my experience of the past 100 days or so of Mark Rowley (the current Met Police commissioner), I have felt he is Cressida Dick in another uniform.

“I really hope that Mark Rowley’s legacy is fixing the Met and it’s a gargantuan task.

Reclaim These Streets founders (left to right) Anna Birley, Jessica Leigh, Henna Shah and Jamie Klingler arriving at the Royal Courts of Justice, London
Reclaim These Streets founders (left to right) Anna Birley, Jessica Leigh, Henna Shah and Jamie Klingler arriving at the Royal Courts of Justice, London (Yui Mok/PA)

She called for the force to prioritise the treatment of women above spending money on increased firepower.

“If you are in the senior administration in the Met and the decision is between funding refrigerators that have rape kits or big fancy guns for a militia within your organisation, I know where I would spend my money,” she said.

“The idea that rape kit samples are coming out of refrigerators that are overflowing and they are buying more guns, is that what we are coming to?”

Sir Mark Rowley said he was determined to tackle the issues raised in the report but declined to accept the conclusion the Met is institutionally racist, sexist and homophobic.

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