News | Press Release

21 March 2023

Refuge responds to the Baroness Casey Review

In response to Baroness Casey Review into misconduct at the Metropolitan Police Service, Ruth Davison, Refuge CEO said: 

“This 363-page damming report is horrifying reading but tells us what we already know from our frontline work that the Met Police is institutionally misogynistic, racist and homophobic. As it stands, the force is currently unwilling and flatly refusing to fully acknowledge this reality.  

For any progress to be made, these findings must be fully accepted and acted on as a matter of urgency by The Met’s commissioner Sir Mark Rowley, as it is only by addressing the “institutional” nature of these routine failings that reform can begin to take place. 

Violence against women and girls (VAWG) is supposed to be a national strategic policing priority but what’s clear in this report is the Met’s VAWG strategy is little more than words on paper. It does not protect women and girls and is not fit for purpose.  

Public Protection, which includes domestic abuse, rape and sexual offences and stalking, has been actively de-prioritised, underfunded and under-resourced, to the point where rape evidence is being thrown away or left to expire in packed fridges and domestic abuse survivors are being dismissed as having “regretted relationships”. What sort of message does this send to women and girls, and how can the force even begin to expect trust to be regained while it is approaching VAWG in this way?  

Policing domestic abuse and VAWG has essentially become little more than an add-on for the Metropolitan Police. Outcomes for survivors are getting worse, with fewer than 7% of domestic abuse crimes getting as far as a charge in 2022 and 14 out of 15 survivors of VAWG crimes interviewed as part of Casey’s Review saying they wouldn’t report to the Met again.  It is clear the Met is failing women.  

Refuge has repeatedly called for radical root and branch reform of The Metropolitan Police. It is unfathomable that the force expects women to have any faith that there will be any changes made, when report after report concludes that there are multiple and repeated failures to take crimes against them seriously. The Met must urgently address this culture of violent misogyny, racism and homophobia. It is only by acting now, with speed and rigour, and embarking on a complete overhaul and new approach to policing that there is any possibility of repairing public trust and confidence, and the force can act immediately by suspending all officers facing accusations of domestic abuse or sexual offences.”