the met women

Every single act of misogyny the Met has committed so far: A timeline

The entire tree is rotting from the roots up

Trigger Warning: This article contains themes of sexual assault throughout. 

For women and other marginalised communities across London, news that the Met Police has a system of discrimination and violence comes as no surprise. Growing up, we’re taught to believe the police are there to protect and serve. When something awful happens to you, they’ll always be there as a driving force to keep the community safe.

Until one day, you wake up and realise you don’t fall under the ever-narrowing category of people they actually protect. It’s become increasingly obvious that for women; simply reporting a crime could see our bodies become the next in-joke on the lads’ WhatsApp group. Or, perhaps we could be strip-searched for no reason, being forced to hear officers commenting on the “smell” of our vaginas. Worst case scenario, we could be lured into an unmarked police car by a serving PC.

Dame Cressida Dick, the Met’s leading Commissioner, insists there really are only a “few bad apples” within the force. So, here’s a definitive timeline of every single “bad apple” who did rotten things while serving as a proud member of the Met.

Spoiler alert! There are potentially thousands:

Pre-2020: More than 750 accusations of sexual misconduct made

the met police

Photo via Unsplash

An investigation by The i found that 771 Met staff – 88 per cent of whom were officers – had faced allegations of sexual misconduct since 2010.

Despite this, just 163 officers were actually arrested and, despairingly, only 38 were convicted. The crimes ranged from sexual harassment and coercion to assault and rape.

June 2020: Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman murders

bibaa henry and nicole smallman

Photo via the Henry/Smallman family

When sisters Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman were stabbed to death in north-west London, two PCs took pictures of the bodies. Deniz Jaffer and Jamie Lewis had admitted to previous instances of misconduct during their sentencing.

The photos were posted in a WhatsApp group chat, with Lewis Photoshopping his face onto one of the girls’ to create fake selfies. They captioned it, “dead birds.”

Both men were sentenced to 33 months in prison.

March 2021: Sarah Everard is murdered by a serving PC

sarah everard cause of death

Photo via the Everard family

In March 2021, Sarah Everard was kidnapped, raped and murdered while walking home from a friend’s house in Brixton Hill. The murderer was 49-year-old Wayne Couzens, who was then a serving PC and firearms officer for the Met.

After his arrest, it was revealed that he hadn’t been vetted in advance of him starting the job, as well as bypassing the standard two-year probation period. His nickname among friends and colleagues was reportedly “The Rapist,” due to the fact he made female PCs feel uncomfortable in his presence.

March 2021: Women are brutalised at the Clapham Common vigil


Photo via Unsplash

On 13th March, hundreds attended Sarah’s vigil “in sadness and rage” on Clapham Common. As the evening went on, a trickle of attendees faced arrests for breaching social distancing measures (as per the Coronavirus Act 2020).

As panic began to spread through the crowd, the Met used brute force in order to break up the gathering. Women were tackled to the ground, pinned down and attacked by officers, who were trampling over flowers and signs laid out for Sarah. When asked what could’ve been done differently at the vigil, Cressida Dick simply stated: “Nothing.”

But, hey. Only a few “bad apples,” right?

June 2021: Cressida Dick dismisses misogyny claims

Commissioner Dick reportedly said – to an audience of women, no less – “sometimes we have a bad’un” in response to Couzens’ arrest.

“We recognise we must be – and we are – intolerant of violence against women and girls,” she said. “I have 44,000 police officers and staff working at the Met. Sadly some are abused at home for example, and sadly on occasion I have a bad’un.”

January 2022: Woman speaks out about being strip-searched

met police

Photo via the Met Police

Dr. Konstancja Duff was strip-searched in Hackney after offering legal advice to a 15-year-old. The Nottingham Uni lecturer had been held down while officers ripped her clothes off, laughing at her “rank” body hair and commenting on her “smelly” knickers.

One of the officers then turned to the other and said “you need defumigating.” Though this happened in 2013, CCTV evidence was obtained to prove Dr. Duff’s accusations, and in January 2022 she was awarded compensation from the Met.

February 2022: Chief licensing officer dismisses ‘Ask For Angela’ training

ask for

Photo via Met Police

The Met picked up Lincolnshire Constabulary’s “Ask For Angela” scheme in 2016. You might’ve seen these posters in pubs, clubs and restaurants – supposedly, if you go up to a staff member and ask, “can I speak to Angela please?” when in trouble, they’ll take you to a safe space until you’re out of danger.

Multiple investigations have proved that most nightlife workers have no clue about the scheme, and training isn’t mandatory.

Despite calls from Metro and womens’ rights campaigners to make the training mandatory – a YouGov survey showed 80 per cent of women want to feel safer on nights out – the Met are refusing to make this happen. “I don’t think the training will ever become mandatory,” chief licensing officer Ian Graham reportedly said.

February 2022: The Operation Hotton report is released

In the wake of Sarah Everard’s murder, Cressida Dick greenlighted an investigation into sexual misconduct within the Met. The Operation Hotton findings were published on 1st February – and frankly, the problem is even more horrifying than people first thought.

Among pages of misogynistic, racist and ableist slurs, officers were found to “joke” about domestic violence, rape and spiking within their own private group chats.

“I fucking need to take my bird out… make it up to her from when I backhanded her,” one police officer said. Another male officer texted his female colleague, “if I was single I would happily chloroform you.”

February 2022: Officer who called a crime victim ‘hot’ keeps his job

met police drugs

Photo via Unsplash

Kristina O’Connor, who was 23 when she was robbed in 2011, was sent a series of inappropriate messages by a PC after reporting the crime.

While taking a statement from her, DCI James Mason asked her to dinner. He then went on to send her a number of personal emails – one of which called her “amazingly hot.”

A panel at a police hearing found Mason guilty of gross misconduct – but he remains a serving police officer at the Met. Kristina is currently seeking legal action against them.

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Featured image via Unsplash before edits.