Like you, we were devastated to read the independent review into the standards of behaviour and internal culture of the Metropolitan Police Service by Baroness Louise Casey. As the Cabinet Member responsible for community safety and our relationship with the police, I know how residents worry about both the findings and how important neighbourhood policing is to them.

We brought the below motion to Merton Council’s Full Council meeting last week, which was passed by councillors. We are now actioning the commitments we made in the motion.

Labour Motion: A Police Service people can trust, and that is responsive and accountable. 

Proposed by: Cllr Stringer Seconded by: Cllr Macauley 

Motion text: 

Council notes:

  • Merton residents and all Londoners expect and deserve a Police Service they can trust, not fear, which responds to the needs of the communities it serves and is accountable to the community for the decisions it makes.
  • With deep concern the appalling findings of Baroness Casey’s independent review into the standards of behaviour and internal culture of the Metropolitan Police Service, including the findings of institutional racism, sexism, misogyny, and homophobia in the Met, and the failure to implement operational, cultural, and systemic change that is so desperately needed.
  • That the deeply troubling failures highlighted in the Casey review are overwhelmingly due to a longstanding failure of culture within the force. However, the review also highlights that government cuts to funding for the Met have exacerbated some problems.
  • And welcomes the commitment from the new Met Commissioner to major reform of the Metropolitan Police Service and to rebuilding trust amongst Londoners.
  • The strong and positive working relationship that Merton Council and Merton Police maintain, which is focused on keeping our borough one of the safest anywhere in London.
  • The administration’s response to the Turnaround Plan which expresses our wish to work with the Police to develop and support the aims of the plan, and ensure our local priorities are achieved alongside the changes that need to be seen in the Met.

Council believes:

  • That to see any progress towards rebuilding trust and confidence in the police, the Metropolitan Police must fully follow the recommendations of the Casey review and work with our communities in a genuine and meaningful way.
  • That the example of effective relationships with police partners here in Merton demonstrates that there is a way forward for the Metropolitan Police Service.
  • That a local, neighbourhood policing presence and effective engagement with local communities is essential to people being able to feel safe in their communities and to building trusting relationships with the Police Service.

Council resolves:

  • To send a letter from the Leader of the Council to the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police calling for the full implementation of all recommendations set out in Baroness Casey’s review.
  • For the Cabinet Member for Civic Pride to work with the Police and residents to ensure that voices of local people are included in the way that their community is policed.
  • Campaign with other London Boroughs and the Mayor of London for the government to fully reverse their damaging cuts to our Police Service, and to keep our local Police Stations in Mitcham and Wimbledon open.
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