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The Mayor of London told of his dismay that nine out of 14 officers criticised in the watchdog probe into sickening racism and sexism at Charing Cross police station were still in their jobs – with two promoted – and hinted he expects at least some of them to be sacked.
He also demanded Dame Cressida reveal a plan to win back the confidence of the public, which lies in tatters following a string of scandals that have come to define her leadership.
Asked if the Commissioner still has his trust and confidence, Mr Khan told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘That will be contingent upon the response from the Commissioner the next time I see her.’
The Labour mayor said he sees the Commissioner ‘on a regular basis’, adding: ‘The next time I see her I’ll expect to see a response to the two big questions that I posed.’
Dame Cressida has also come under pressure from Home Secretary Priti Patel, who blamed ‘failures of leadership’ for the Charing Cross scandal.
Others have said the Met is at a ‘Macpherson’ moment – a reference to the inquiry following the murder of black teenager Stephen Lawrence.
It follows repeated crises ranging from the disastrous Operation Midland into fake VIP sex abuse claims to the killing of Sarah Everard and the jailing of two officers for taking pictures of the corpses of two murdered sisters.
The Mayor of London loaded yet more pressure onto Cressida Dick today and gave her ‘days and weeks’ to turn the Met around
Mr Khan also demanded Dame Cressida (left) reveal a plan to win back the confidence of the public. Pictured right: James McLoughlin-Goodchild, who served as a PC at Charing Cross police station and had a conviction for threatening to murder a female colleague. He has since been sacked
String of disasters at the Met under Dame Cressida’s watch
April 2017: Appointed as first female Metropolitan Police commissioner with a brief to modernise the force and keep it out of the headlines.
April 2019: Extinction Rebellion protesters bring London to a standstill over several days with the Met powerless to prevent the chaos. Dame Cressida says the numbers involved were far greater than expected and used new tactics but she admits police should have responded quicker.
September 2019: Her role in setting up of shambolic probe into alleged VIP child sex abuse and murder based on testimony from the fantasist Carl Beech (right) is revealed but she declines to answer questions.
2020: Official report into Operation Midland said Met was more interested in covering up mistakes than learning from them.
February 2021: Lady Brittan condemns the culture of ‘cover up and flick away’ in the Met and the lack of a moral compass among senior officers.
- The same month a freedom of information request reveals an extraordinary spin campaign to ensure Dame Cressida was not ‘pulled into’ the scandal over the Carl Beech debacle.
March: Criticised for Met handling of a vigil for Sarah Everard, where officers arrested four attendees. Details would later emerge about how her killer, Wayne Couzens (right), used his warrant card to trick her into getting into his car.
- In the first six months of the year, London was on course for its worst year for teenage deaths – 30 – with knives being responsible for 19 out of the 22 killed so far. The youngest was 14-year-old Fares Matou, cut down with a Samurai sword. Dame Cressida had told LBC radio in May her top priority was tackling violent crime.
June: A £20million report into the Daniel Morgan murder brands the Met ‘institutionally corrupt’ and accuses her of trying to block the inquiry. Dame Cressida rejects its findings. Mr Morgan is pictured below.
July: Police watchdog reveals three Met officers being probed over alleged racism and dishonesty.
- The same month the Yard boss is at the centre of another storm after it emerged she was secretly referred to the police watchdog over comments she made about the stop and search of Team GB sprinter Bianca Williams. Dame Cressida is accused of pre-empting the outcome of an independent investigation.
- Also in July she finds herself under fire over her woeful security operation at the Euro 2020 final at Wembley where fans without tickets stormed the stadium and others used stolen steward vests and ID lanyards to gain access.
August Dame Cressida facing a potential misconduct probe over her open support for Deputy Assistant Commissioner Matt Horne who could stand trial over alleged data breaches.
December: Two police officers who took pictures of the bodies of murdered sisters Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman (right) were jailed for two years and nine months each.
Pc Deniz Jaffer and Pc Jamie Lewis were assigned to guard the scene overnight after Ms Henry, 46, and Ms Smallman, 27, were found dead in bushes in Fryent Country Park, Wembley, north-west London. Instead, they breached the cordon to take photographs of the bodies, which were then shared with colleagues and members of the public on WhatsApp.
December: Dame Cressida apologises to the family of a victim of serial killer Stephen Port (right). Officers missed several chances to catch him after he murdered Anthony Walgate in 2014.
Dame Cressida – who was not commissioner at the time of the murder – told Mr Walgate’s mother: ‘I am sorry, both personally and on behalf of The Met — had police listened to what you said, things would have turned out a lot differently’.”
January 2022: She faces a barrage of fresh criticism for seeking to ‘muzzle’ Sue Gray’s Partygate report by asking her to make only ‘minimal’ references to parties the Met were investigating.
February 2022: Details of messages exchanged by officers at Charing Cross Police Station, which included multiple references to rape, violence against women, racist and homophobic abuse, are unveiled in a watchdog report.
Mr Khan told Radio 4: ‘So the first part of what I expect to see is – what is the response from the Commissioner as to how she intends to address the culture, address the situation, where too many police officers are behaving in a way that’s unacceptable?
‘And by the way, nine of those 14 police officers, you mentioned Charing Cross, are still serving.
‘And secondly, what is the plan to win back the trust and confidence in the public in relation to the police service that polices our capital city?’
He said this will be a matter of ‘days and weeks’.
Asked on Sky News what he would do if Dame Cressida failed to deliver on his two challenges, he said: ‘It’s very important for everyone to know that anyone who isn’t up to the standards I expect I’ll expect to go.’
Mr Khan who put Dame Cressida ‘on notice’ last week following the exposure of sickening messages about rape, ‘killing black children’, and ‘f****** gays’.
He said anyone ‘who has views or believes that it’s acceptable to behave in a way that’s racist, sexist, homophobic, in a discriminatory manner, does not belong in the police service’.
Fourteen officers were investigated by the watchdog, of whom two were found to have a case to answer for gross misconduct.
One was sacked and another resigned before he would have been dismissed.
Nine remain serving officers, while another is working as a contractor in a staff role.
Asked if all of those involved in the Charing Cross incident should be sacked, Mr Khan told Today: ‘I think Londoners can’t understand why nine of these 14 police officers are still serving.
‘I’ve asked that question.’
He also told the programme: ‘And by the way, I only discovered last week that two of them have been promoted.’
One of the officers disciplined for their behaviour has since been promoted from the rank of constable to sergeant, it emerged last week.
She was found to have committed misconduct for failing to report wrongdoing, yet the Met told the Guardian the promotion went ahead anyway, telling the Guardian that the officer ‘attended a misconduct meeting and was given management action/advice about reporting wrongdoing’.
Another officer, whose disturbing messages formed part of the inquiry, threatened to murder a female colleague while under investigation for sexually harassing her.
James McLoughlin-Goodchild, a PC at Charing Cross, threatened to stab the woman and two other officers if they came to arrest him during a phone call with a sergeant to discuss an upcoming gross misconduct hearing.
A trial heard he said: ‘I will kill them, I will murder them if I see them, I know where they live and what cars they drive.
‘If they come to my home and arrest me they are going to get stabbed. I will not go to prison alive.’
The officer was found guilty of sending an offensive, indecent, obscene or menacing communication after a trial at Hendon Magistrates Court in January 2019. He was handed a 12-month conditional discharge and an indefinite restraining order.
Meanwhile, new damning claims emerged last week about the behaviour of officers at Charing Cross, including allegations they slept with female suspects and called black colleagues ‘monkeys’.
A ‘toxic’ culture existed at the station dating back to 2006, said the former constable, who asked to be referred to by her first name, Liz.
The ex-officer said there was an ‘awful’ atmosphere at the station where men had sex with women in bathrooms, ‘mercilessly bullied’ a colleague and made ‘cruel and sexual comments’ about women in the street while senior leaders stayed silent.
She said her male colleagues were like ‘kids in a candy store’ given the station’s proximity to ‘pubs, bars and party culture’, with one sergeant bragging about seeing his favourite Russian escort at Spearmint Rhino.
The IOPC watchdog said it would look into the shocking allegations.
An officer who gave only her first name, Liz, told LondonWorld she witnessed appalling behaviour by male cops after graduating from Hendon Police College in the mid-noughties.
She moved to another station in a different borough after two years and is now a writer living in Perth, Australia.
She says she saw officers having sex down the station, caught a male cop in the act with someone he had arrested and she was victim to ‘countless propositioning from male colleagues.’
As the only woman in her team, she had to endure a night out at the Spearmint Rhino strip club where a sergeant bragged about having ‘his favourite Russian girl’.
On one occasion, she was sat in a carrier vehicle in Whitehall when all the male officers made lewd sexual comments about every woman that walked past.
Black officers were referred to as ‘monkeys’ and officers said ‘they better smile at night or we won’t see them’.
An autistic police community support officer was mercilessly bullied and ‘mindf***ed’ until he thought it was all part of him being ‘part of the team’, she claimed.
She said she knew the behaviour was wrong but did not know who to turn to, fearing bosses would turn a blind eye and she would be ostracised by colleagues.
Liz said: ‘It really was awful – toxic at worst. There is no exaggeration.
‘I knew I should say something but to who? My reaction was that I would be unsupported by colleagues in a job that depends on others if you face difficulty on patrol.
‘Senior leadership were silent – you never saw them. Inspectors were usually pretty absent* behaviour was overlooked.’
Met’s rotten culture: Pc Deniz Jaffer (left) and Pc Jamie Lewis (pictured left and right in November following their arrests), who took pictures of murdered sisters Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman
Met officer accused of kissing junior colleague as she sat in a police van
A Metropolitan Police sergeant has been accused of kissing an officer as she sat in a police van after showing her photographs of women on his phone saying ‘I’m dating them because you are not available’, a misconduct hearing has heard.
Sergeant George Panayi, part of the East Area Command Unit, is accused of kissing and pinching the cheek of the female officer – without her consent – while on duty. The female officer said it was ‘offensive, demeaning, horrifying’, during a police misconduct hearing on Monday.
He is also accused of opening the door to a lavatory knowing the female officer was inside. It is alleged that Panayi breached the standards of professional behaviour in respect of authority, respect and courtesy.
It is further alleged that his conduct, if proven, amounts to gross misconduct and is so serious it would justify his sacking.
Liz said the station’s location at the heart of the capital contributed to the bad atmosphere. ‘It was like kids in a candy store, surrounded by bars, pubs and party culture,’ she said.
Home Secretary Priti Patel has blamed ‘failures of leadership’ for the rotten culture at the Met, including by the commissioner herself.
Last month, Dame Cressida revealed she considers resigning from her £230,000-a-year role ‘every few months’ but had never thought it necessary.
She told students at a careers talk at Westminster School: ‘Every few weeks throughout my commissionership, I have sat down and reviewed whether I’m the right person to carry on.
‘I just think that’s good practice. I think, the implicit thing in your question was, has there been one thing where I’ve gone away and thought, ”Oh dear, I better resign”, or had a very serious conversation about ”is now the time to resign?”
‘The answer to that is no, I haven’t. But I absolutely listen to what’s out there.
‘We live at the moment in what I call the age of outrage: A time where people can get very whipped up or fevered about lots of things, and where it’s very, very noisy, but the trick, I think, as any senior leader is – and I hope this doesn’t sound arrogant – the trick is to be humble but to be personally confident.
‘And I thank my mum and my school for helping me to be reasonably personally confident.
‘To have really good antennae, really good whiskers, nose, ears, touch, and listen all the time to what’s going on out there.’
These are MailOnline mock-ups of WhatsApp conversations that were published in the IOPC report. Warning: Graphic language
Source: Daily Mail