'Dreadful' scandals leaves UK police 'hanging by a thread': Watchdog
The head of a law enforcement watchdog demands "definitive action" to retain public faith following a series of "dreadful" scandals.
The head of a law enforcement watchdog warned, on Friday, that public trust in police in England and Wales is "hanging by a thread" following a series of "dreadful" scandals.
Andy Cooke, head of His Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS), said the police service was at a "historic turning point" as he demanded "definitive action" to retain public faith.
#Britain's police watchdog has called for an explanation for the rampant misogyny and "disgraceful" behavior after a newly published report cited widespread bullying, sexual harassment, and discrimination. pic.twitter.com/VzlZT86Ci0— Al Mayadeen English (@MayadeenEnglish) February 7, 2022
In his annual evaluation, Cooke called for legal powers so failing police forces can be directed to improve when there are serious concerns for public safety.
Cooke also warned that corrupt officers were auto-deleting messages sent to colleagues to avoid detection.
"Policing needs to redouble its efforts to identify those people who totally besmirch the proud reputation that British policing has," he said.
"We will never totally eradicate every corrupt officer but the police service needs to be doing all it can to ensure that these individuals are identified as soon as possible," he added.
The Metropolitan Police Force, the country's largest, has been struck by a series of scandals.
Former police officer Wayne Couzens, 48, was sentenced to life in prison (a rare sentence in the UK) for the kidnap, rape, and murder of 33-year-old Sarah Everard, as she was walking home in London in March 2021.
David Carrick, another member of its armed security squad, was found guilty of 24 charges of rape and several other sex offenses committed over a period of over 20 years. Additionally, he is incarcerated for life.
According to a government-commissioned assessment released in March, the force exhibits predatory behavior, with officers from underrepresented groups frequently being bullied.
Last month, the outgoing head of Police Scotland, called the force "institutionally racist" and "discriminatory" after a review into its culture.