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Senior detective says Met should accept the term 'institutional'

An online debate into the next steps following on from the Casey review was hosted by Birmingham City University.

Accepting the term “institutional” could be the Met's first step forward, a Met Detective Superintendent has suggested.

Det Supt Ron Lock, currently on secondment with the NPCC, told an online panel that he did not understand the rationale behind not accepting the term ‘institutional’ as it was referenced in the Casey review.

“Perhaps acceptance may lead to more difficult questions,” he said.

“No one is saying all police officers are racist, I just hope, as a black person and a police officer, our future leaders address this issue, and perhaps one of the first steps in moving forward is indeed accepting the term ‘institutional’.” 

Meanwhile Met Chief Superintendent Hannah Wheeler differed, saying that the term itself “brings an element of ambiguity”.

“We need to describe what the problem is, deal with it properly and change. It’s clear we have systemic issues that we need to tackle,” she said.

She added that Sir Mark Rowley and Dame Lynne Owens were both dedicated people who are “capable of bringing about the change we need”.

“As a command team at the Met, since the Casey review was published, we have been very reflective, recognising that there needs to be a profound change. It needs to matter - and we need to re-connect and re-build that trust internally and externally… we can’t do that through ‘initiative-itis’ as described in Casey’s report.” 

The online event was hosted by Birmingham City University and included academic panellists as well as serving police officers.

Also on the panel was former Deputy Assistant Commissioner Rod Jarman, who is now the President of the London Policing College.

He underlined that the toxic culture now is not the same as the toxic culture that existed within policing 30 years ago.

“What is the same, however, are the roots of the issues, be it racism, misogyny, homophobia and a failure of the police to deal effectively with these issues,” he said.

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