‘After decades of equivocation and inertia, we are calling for immediate and decisive action from your administration’: The bombshell letter to Boris Johnson from figures who were wronged by Scotland Yard
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick
A landmark panel of victims of police corruption, incompetence and malpractice today call for the head of Cressida Dick.
In a bombshell open letter to Boris Johnson, they said the disaster-prone Met commissioner should not be handed a two-year contract extension as expected.
Led by Stephen Lawrence’s trailblazing mother, Baroness Lawrence, and Lady Brittan, widow of Tory home secretary Leon Brittan, the signatories all give Dame Cressida a resounding vote of no confidence.
They also demand an overhaul of the Met’s senior team, ‘urgent and long overdue’ reform of the police complaints system and a shake-up of the ‘unfit for purpose’ Independent Office for Police Conduct.
Here, we reveal their letter to the Prime Minister…
We write to you as a group of concerned individuals seeking urgent and long overdue reform of policing, the police complaints system and, in particular, the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).
Our stories and individual experiences are very different but we have all been victims of the incompetence and malpractice which pervades the leadership of the MPS.
This includes racial discrimination, systemic corruption and the reckless and unjustified harassment of innocent people.
After decades of equivocation and inertia, we are calling for immediate and decisive action from your administration.
We have – reluctantly – become public figures as a result of our experiences but we are determined to use our voice to push for reform.
This is the only way to restore confidence in our capital’s police service, and to ensure that these injustices cannot be repeated.
First, there must be accountability.
After decades of investigation and numerous independent, judge-led inquiries, the scale and exact nature of the failures within the Metropolitan Police Service have become a matter of public record.
Yet not a single individual has been held accountable for this catalogue of errors.
Baroness Lawrence, Nick Bramall, Alastair Morgan, Harvey Proctor, Michael McManus, Paul Gambaccini and Lady Brittan
Dame Cressida Dick, who has presided over a culture of incompetence and cover-up, must not have her contract extended and must be properly investigated for her conduct, along with her predecessors and those in her inner circle, who she appointed and who have questions to answer.
She should be replaced by an appointee from outside London, via a truly independent and transparent process.
Second, there must be oversight.
A system which allows the police to set the parameters of the inquiries into their own misconduct, as was and is the case after Operation Midland, is self-evidently broken.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), which is supposed to oversee complaints against the police, is demonstrably unfit for purpose as it is currently structured.
A functional governance system must be established, led by a credible and legally-trained individual, and they must be given the powers to investigate and hold the police services to account.
The IOPC must themselves be properly accountable to the Home Secretary with an independent oversight mechanism.
Lastly, we would like to request an urgent meeting with yourself and the Home Secretary to discuss these matters and ensure that meaningful reform is delivered within a reasonable timeframe.
We share a collective concern that the leadership of the Metropolitan Police Service will continue to act as though they are above the law and that the general public do not have a viable means of recourse.
We are confident that these issues can be addressed through a constructive dialogue.
As Prime Minister, you have the opportunity to begin the process of change and improvement which will restore trust in our police services.
Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon
Lady Brittan of Spennithorne
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