By Jeremy Dewar
THE METROPOLITAN Police is infested with violent misogynists. This isn’t rhetorical exaggeration. It’s a fact.
Twelve serving Met officers have been convicted of sexual offences against women since the murder of Sarah Everard in March 2021, one every two months.
Met Commissioner Mark Rowley admits this is only the tip of the iceberg. He is reviewing another 1,071 officers, against whom 1,633 cases of sexual violence and misconduct have been reported. Rowley predicts that ‘two or three’ officers per week will face trial for a mixture of sexual offences and domestic abuse up until at least 2025.
More reports are coming in all the time—an urgent hotline set up for the public is currently receiving an average of 40 calls per day. Such crimes are grossly under-reported; the true figure is certain to be much, much higher.
The wall of silence was finally breached on 16 January when serving officer David Carrick was convicted of 85 cases of rape and other sexual offences against women, making him one of the most prolific sexual offenders in UK history.
Carrick raped women, locked them in cupboards, urinated on them, called them his ‘slaves’ and threatened them with murder ‘without leaving any evidence’. He regularly used his position to lure his victims, then threaten them if they told anyone.
Like Wayne Couzens who killed Sarah Everard, Carrick was a member of the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command, the elite armed unit assigned to ministers and embassies. This exposes both how ineffectual the so-called vetting process in the Met is and the fact that the closer police officers get to the state power, the worse they behave.
Carrick was well known for his misogyny and violence; his nickname was ‘Bastard Dave’. He was reported to the Met for crimes against women no fewer than nine times in 20 years’ service. Yet only once was he put on restricted duty—then given back his gun a few months later when the victim stopped cooperating with the police. He was never suspended.
‘Prepare for more painful stories as we confront cases that… corrupt our integrity,’ warned Commissioner Rowley, admitting Carrick would not be the last monster to emerge in the coming months. Nor is it just the Met; other forces have the same sexist culture that pervades London’s ‘finest’ and the same crimes are being committed.
The police force is institutionally sexist. But it is also institutionally racist, homophobic, transphobic, and anti-working class. They arrest and manhandle environmental protesters, striking trade unionists, black and other minority communities; peaceful demonstrations of women and LGBT+ people. There have been 1,740 deaths in custody or after contact with the police since 1990.
The police are constantly provided with more weapons, including CS gas, firearms, and tasers; and with more powers – the Police, Sentencing and Courts Act last year gave them the authority to disperse protests that are too ‘annoying’, go on too long or disrupt commerce.
The Public Order Bill, which is about to be passed, will allow the police to slap Serious Disruption Prevention Orders (SDPOs) on protesters who they suspect may commit a crime, i.e. thought police. Victims of these SDPOs could be banned from parts of the city or country, electronically tagged, made to report to police stations, or even put under 24-hour curfew—effectively house arrest.
That these extensions of police powers are being rushed through now is no accident. Like the new anti-strike law, they come at a time when the government knows that the environmental and economic crises are going to bring more angry people out onto the streets. They are not reviewing their vetting procedures—they are preparing for a crackdown.
Outside New Scotland Yard on the night of Carrick’s guilty plea, the activists raised the slogan, ‘No justice, no peace—no rapist police!’ They might have added, ‘no racist police’ as Black Lives Matter has consistently called for, or even ‘no police’ as the Kill the Bill movement demanded.
To achieve any of these demands, we need a movement of all those suffering under the threat of police brutality for no other reason than their gender, sexuality, race, gender identity, or because they are prepared to stand up to their oppressors.
We must fight for justice for all the women who have suffered at the hands of police officers. All officers alleged to have committed crimes against women must be suspended without pay. Conduct an independent working class investigation into all allegations, and prosecute all officers found guilty in order to prevent them from committing further violence. Disarm and disband the special units that believe they are above the law.
But to abolish the police, we have to understand its real nature. It is an arm of the capitalist state, which exists to defend property rights, break up protests and strikes, control our communities, and reinforce the sexism, racism, homophobia and transphobia that divide us. Its purpose is to maintain the capitalist and patriarchal order. In order to abolish the police, we must smash the capitalist state itself.
Only a democratically accountable working class defence force can both repel police violence and replace it with units that will defend our communities against the real criminals—the capitalist class that deploys thugs like Carrick and Couzens against us.