‘Furious’ Sadiq Khan puts Met Police chief Cressida Dick ‘on notice’ over homophobia and racism

Sadiq Khan and Met Police chief Cressida Dick

London mayor Sadiq Khan is “furious” with Met Police chief Cressida Dick over a report revealing shocking racism, homophobia and misogyny by police officers, and has put her “on notice”.

On Tuesday (1 February), the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) released a learning report on Operation Hotton, nine linked investigations into the culture at the Metropolitan Police.

The report showed discriminatory, sexualised or violent comments, including jokes about rape and bragging about domestic violence, were often dismissed as “banter”.

This “banter” included officers sending homophobic comments to each other like “you f**king gay” and “f**k you bender”, discussing “police officers attending a festival dressed as known sex offenders and a molested child”, and a male officer threatening to “rape”, “chloroform” and “hate f**k” a female officer.

According to the Evening Standard, Khan was reportedly “furious” with Met Police commissioner Dick, calling her in for an “urgent” meeting on Wednesday (2 February).

A source at City Hall said the meeting between Sadiq Khan and Cressida Dick was a “very frank discussion” that lasted “well over 90 minutes”.

A spokesperson for the mayor of London said: “The mayor made clear to the commissioner how angry he is with a return to the bad days of the Met of his childhood in the 1970s and 80s, and that neither he nor Londoners will put up with this.

“He has put the commissioner on notice. He said the Met needs to urgently show it has an effective plan for restoring the trust and confidence of Londoners in the police and to drive out the culture of racism, homophobia, bullying and misogyny which clearly still exists within its ranks.”

The Operation Hotton report laid out 15 recommendations to “tackle underlying cultural issues by preventing environments from developing in which unprofessional and inappropriate behaviour can thrive and go unchallenged”, including for the Metropolitan Police Service to “publicly commit to being an anti-racist organisation with a zero-tolerance policy towards sexism, misogyny, bullying and harassment”.

There are currently two further inquiries into the culture at the Met Police that are still ongoing.

One is the Met’s own inquiry into its culture and practices over the last decade, and the other, overseen by Baroness Louise Casey, will assess police behaviour after the murder of Sarah Everard.