Met Police: Hundreds of new complaints of violence against women and girls in the last six months

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The National Police Chief’s Council has published data on complaints against police staff about violence against women and girls.

Following the release of a national report on violence against women and girls by officers, the Met Police has revealed that it has had hundreds of complaints in the last six months alone.

The force says it is “proactively encouraging both the public and Met colleagues to report any concerns about the behaviour of officers and staff” after a series of scandals and revelations about the crimes of serving officers such as rapist and murderer Wayne Couzens and serial rapist David Carrick.

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National data released today by the National Police Chief’s Council (NPCC) records 1,177 cases involving 1,483 allegations of police-perpetrated violence against women and girls (VAWG) from October 2021 to March 2022. Of those, 241 cases involving 287 allegations related to the Met Police.

Those numbers include both complaints by police staff and complaints by members of the public.

The Met has released figures showing that in the six months from September 2022 to February 268 allegations were made against its staff.

Met Police response

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Helen Millichap, the Met’s lead on violence against women and girls, said: “We welcome this first report by the NPCC that aims to better identify the scale of violence against women and girls.

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“We want to make London a safe city for women and girls. Every day we are out tackling violence and abuse and arresting predatory men. We are using the same specialist tactics and technology to identify and bring more offenders to justice as we do for other serious crime. We are working closely with partners and any whose expertise can help to improve the response and support women and girls get.

“We know we have much more to do and we are working hard to improve so that women and girls feel safe, and have confidence in our service to them.

“This must start with us.

“We recognise identifying and bringing to justice those in the Met who corrupt our integrity by committing abuses against women and girls is vital in rebuilding the trust of our communities and increasing reporting.”

She said the force, which was placed into special measures last June, has introduced initiatives including the Domestic Abuse and Sexual Offences (DASO) Unit, which is staffed by officers with a background in investigating domestic abuse and sexual violence.

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“We have a new Anti-Corruption and Abuse Command, with detectives who are bringing the same investigative approach to identifying wrongdoing in our ranks as we do to identifying organised criminality,” she said.

“We launched the first ever public appeal line, the Crimestoppers Police Integrity Hotline, to make it easier for the public to report officers of concern, an initiative now planned for rollout nationally.

“We recognise there is far more work to be done to effectively tackle all types of violence against women and girls and to gain trust.

“In spring we will publish a new and refreshed Met Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) Action Plan, which will build on feedback and progress made since our initial plan. We are committed to progressing this work in partnership and by listening.

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“If you are a victim-survivor of this type of abuse, including by an alleged police perpetrator, you will be listened to and supported by the Met and specialist support services, with respect and dignity. Allegations will be investigated fully, whoever the suspect."


The NPCC’s figures revealed that, across the country, less than 1% of the national complaints led to a sacking.

Deputy Chief Constable Maggie Blyth, National Police Chiefs’ Council coordinator for violence against women and girls, said: “Our publication today reinforces the urgency and importance of our current mission to lift the stones and root abusers and corrupt individuals out of policing alongside delivering the long term, sustainable improvements to standards, vetting and misconduct processes we have promised. 

“A range of allegations are included such as use of force, sexual comments, overbearing behaviour and sexual assault and the numbers under investigation equate to 0.7 per cent of the workforce.

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“The vast majority of officers and staff are professional and committed but I know it is shocking to hear about any potential predators in policing and that this can further shake fragile trust. 

“It’s important to be clear, data released today is intended to be a critical baseline for assessing police performance over time. It presents a picture from over a year ago rather than today. 

“Over the past 18 months, police chiefs have focused on identifying wrongdoing in police ranks, strengthening misconduct investigations and toughening sanctions. My expectation is that the impact of those changes will be evident when we publish our next assessment – with more women having the confidence to report concerns, more investigations underway, more cases closed and more sanctions and dismissals.”

The NPCC says action has been taken in the last 18 months and that every force now has a VAWG action plan. It says complaints are checked against the Police National Database (PND) and that complaints processes and sanctions are being strengthened.

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Women’s Aid: ‘Deeply worrying’

Farah Nazeer, chief executive of Women’s Aid, said:  “These statistics have deeply worrying implications for women’s already low levels of trust in the criminal justice system. We are calling for the full implementation of the inspectorate’s recommendations on vetting, misconduct and misogyny in policing. Forces must also commit to the Centre for Women’s Justice recommendation that all criminal investigations into police perpetrators are carried out by an external police force. 

“This data shows the staggering scale of violence against women and girls, and how far we are from ensuring women and children truly are safe: just 6% of more than half a million cases were closed with a suspect charged. 

“These figures are completely unacceptable, but we understand that they are from a year ago and we are working closely with DCC Maggie Blyth to help improve them. While the NPCC’s commitment to drive forward progress is a step in the right direction, the government must also increase its oversight of the holistic criminal justice response to survivors to hold police forces, Police and Crime Commissioners, the Crown Prosecution Service and Courts as well as probation to account. We look forward to working with Maggie Blyth and others to bring about the desperately needed transformation.”