UK police watchdog chief resigns, facing investigation
The head of the UK's independent police watchdog resigns over a police probe into an allegation of historic wrongdoing, while he states he quit "for personal and domestic reasons".
The head of the UK's independent police watchdog has resigned over a police probe into an allegation of historic wrongdoing, Interior Minister Suella Braverman has said.
The regulator has been strongly critical of the UK police force, which is trying to rebuild public trust following a series of high-profile scandals.
On Saturday, Braverman announced that she accepted Michael Lockwood's resignation as director general of the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).
Set up in 2018, the IOPC deals with police complaints in England and Wales, with Lockwood in charge. Its reports have shown detailed accounts of misconduct by police officers, such as exchanging racist and sexist messages and excessively using Tasers on black people.
Braverman said she took immediate action after learning about Lockwood, and she made it clear to him that he must either stand down or face immediate suspension.
The Times reported that the alleged offence "is believed to have taken place almost four decades ago when Lockwood, 63, was in his twenties".
In a statement, Lockwood said he was resigning "for personal and domestic reasons".
Last year's kidnap, rape, and murder of Sarah Everard by Former police officer Wayne Couzens rocked the UK and prompted calls to address sexism and misogyny in the police.
In February, London's police chief Cressida Dick stepped down following a string of scandals of police misconduct involving racism, sexism, and the murder of a young woman by a London police officer.
This came after an official report from England's police watchdog, which stated that London police officers routinely made jokes about rape and exchanged racist messages, detailing a pattern of misogyny and bullying in the force, the latest blow to an embattled service that has faced intense scrutiny in recent months.
The findings reflected a troubling culture within the London Metropolitan Police Service, according to the report released by the Independent Office for Police Conduct, the police watchdog, which detailed the incidents were not isolated or the work of a few "bad apples".