Elite VIP protection unit should be disbanded due to toxic culture, Met is to be told

Wayne Couzens

One of Scotland Yard’s most elite armed forces tasked with protecting politicians and diplomats should be disbanded, a scathing report on Met culture will recommend.

Wayne Couzens – the killer of Sarah Everard – and David Carrick, the serial rapist, were colleagues in the Met’s Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection (PaDP) command.

Dame Louise Casey, who will publish her review of the Met Standards on Tuesday, will recommend dissolving the unit to address the deep-seated toxic and misogynistic culture that has been allowed to take hold and fester.

PaDP officers ensure the security of politicians, diplomats and other VIPs and guard government buildings and embassies.

But the Casey review – commissioned after Everard’s kidnapping, rape and murder – will recommend it be “effectively disbanded”, forcing all serving officers to undergo a re-review.

lack of female officers

The report will speak scathingly about the lack of proper surveillance within the PaDP and will criticize the deplorable lack of female officers being recruited into the armed police.

Dame Louise is expected to highlight significant structural and cultural barriers that stand in the way of female officers seeking to join some of the force’s elite units.

The review will recommend that all firearms officers undergo an after-the-fact review to root out anyone who should not be serving.

The recommendation is one of more than a dozen in the 300-page report, which will make extremely uncomfortable reading for Sir Mark Rowley and other senior executives at the country’s largest police force.

The review will feature numerous examples of appalling racism, misogyny and homophobia within the Met, and will highlight repeated failures to address wrongdoing and even illegality by renegade officials.

It will also attack the Met’s former defensive line, with criticism from former commissioner Dame Cressida Dick.

David Carrick

David Carrick

Dame Louise is expected to condemn the force’s tendency to treat issues in isolation and its failure to acknowledge widespread cultural issues.

A source familiar with the report’s findings said: “For too long the Met has shown an inability to recognize patterns of behavior and has treated serious issues as isolated cases.

“We saw that with Couzens and Carrick, and yet nobody seemed to step back and ask the question, ‘Why do so many offenders come from the same unit? Do we have a problem with this unit?”

Concerns about the culture in the PaDP are not new, but a previous attempt to reform the unit a few years ago was scrapped when longtime officers fiercely opposed proposed changes.

After Couzens murdered Everard, it was revealed that his nickname had been “The Rapist” among colleagues, while Carrick was known as “Bastard Dave” at work.

It also emerged last year that several PaDP officers on duty were members of a WhatsApp group that had been spreading racist messages.

The report will be very critical of Met

Scotland Yard recently announced its own review of the unit, which should be released in the coming weeks.

However, Dame Louise is expected to warn that anything but a full overhaul will fail to address the underlying issues at hand.

While the report will be highly critical of the Met, pointing out issues in each department visited and inspected, Dame Louise is expected to support Sir Mark and the current leadership team in their efforts to drive reform.

Ahead of the release, Sir Mark said he recognized the need for sweeping reform and was passionate about achieving it.

He said: “We have to show people that we can handle it and I’m not afraid of it. I have probably raised the need for reform more openly than any Commissioner in a long time.”

A Home Office source also said Suella Braverman, the Home Secretary, remains confident that Sir Mark is the right man to turn the force around.

It came as it emerged separately that Sir Steve House, the former acting Met commissioner, was being investigated by the police station over allegations he described the bulk of the rape complaints as the result of “regretful sex”.

The comments were allegedly made during a January 2022 meeting between senior officials and academics discussing a comprehensive review of rape law enforcement.

Sir Steve, who was the Met’s No. 2 at the time of the alleged comments in January 2022, has strongly denied making them, saying he finds the term “deplorable sex” completely “abhorrent”.

IOPC’s Mel Palmer confirmed that an investigation had been opened and said: “The allegation that these comments were made by a very senior police officer is of significant public concern and may impact public confidence in the police, and therefore it is important that these are the subject of an independent investigation.”

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