Police chief says officers should ‘snitch’ on misogynistic colleagues by reporting any ‘disgusting’ attitudes towards women in wake of Sarah Everard scandal
- Deputy Chief Constable Maggie Blyth implored officers to stamp out misogyny
- She said police should report ‘disgusting’ behaviour displayed by colleagues
- Blyth became the national lead on violence towards women and girls last month
- It comes as the Mail on Sunday today revealed that police prosecutions of exposure and voyeurism cases have almost halved in six years
- But the number of cases in that same time has risen by a staggering 59 per cent
Police officers are being asked to ‘snitch’ on colleagues who they know or suspect of being complicit in misogynistic behaviour according the police’s new national lead on violence against women and girls.
Deputy Chief Constable Maggie Blyth declared this week that officers should report colleagues who display ‘disgusting’ attitudes towards women on duty to stamp out the ‘culture of misogyny’ in the police force that has been revealed in the wake of Sarah Everard’s death.
Blyth, who began in the newly created post last month, said Everard’s murder had triggered a radical review of outstanding misconduct cases and the police’s vetting procedures by the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC).
‘We very much want to be an upstander and not a bystander in terms of anything that should remotely suggest conduct that falls below ethical standards,’ Blyth said.
‘Shining a light [on the police] is going to mean that more matters get exposed because we do know there will be a minority who are attracted into policing because of the power and authority which they think it has.’
It comes as the Mail on Sunday revealed today that police prosecutions of exposure and voyeurism cases have almost halved in six years while cases have risen by a staggering 59 per cent.
Yet despite the huge rise in cases forces have prosecuted far fewer suspects since 2014.
The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) has announced in September that Deputy Chief Constable Maggie Blyth (pictured) has been appointed as the National Police Lead for Violence Against Women and Girls, to coordinate police action across England and Wales
Wayne Couzens, 48, (R) a Metropolitan Police diplomatic protection officer, was sentenced to a whole-life prison term in September after he carried out a bogus arrest on Everard, 33, (L) in March before raping and murdering her.
Misogyny and misconduct in police ranks has been under the microscope like never before this year after the murder of Sarah Everard in March.
Wayne Couzens, 48, a Metropolitan Police officer, was sentenced to a whole-life prison term in September after he carried out a bogus arrest on Everard, 33, in south London before raping and murdering her.
The case triggered a torrent of public criticism directed towards the police and opened the floodgates for a sea of misconduct claims to be levied against officers.
In October, the NPCC announced that all police forces in England and Wales will review allegations of violence against women and girls involving serving officers and staff.
NPCC chairman Martin Hewitt said at the time that police bosses were doing ‘everything that we can do to ensure that the way we deal with violence against women and girls is as effective and as assertive as it can be’.
But Blyth, who became a police officer only five years ago via the force’s fast-track direct-entry scheme, said this week that despite the reviews there has been a ‘loss of public trust and confidence’ in the police force.
She implored women who felt they had been ‘approached inappropriately’ by police to report it.
‘It is vital that we have any information or intelligence about any police officer inappropriately using their warrant card or their status to attract the attention of any female’ she said.
‘Always report anything that feels wrong.’
Martin Hewitt, chairman of the National Police Chiefs Council, said police bosses were doing ‘everything that we can’ to investigate violence against women and girls
Her comments come during a torrid time for the police after the Office for National Statistics revealed last week that rape offences reported to the police had hit a high in England and Wales, while the proportion of prosecuted cases languishes at a mere 1.4% – statistics that have been labelled as ‘woeful’ by Blyth.
Meanwhile, Home Office data analysed by the Mail on Sunday has shown that since 2014 prosecutions for exposure and voyeurism have dropped from 1,047 nationally to 594, despite the fact that reported offences have sharply risen from 6,420 in 2013-14 to 10,203 in March to this year.
Blyth also levied an assault at police officers accused of ‘victim-blaming’ for saying that women have any responsibility when it comes to incidences of violence or misogyny.
‘There is no way that this is the responsibility of any woman or any women, and the responsibility for any violence and particularly the tragic circumstances around [the Everard case] are on that perpetrator, and are on men,’ Blyth said.
Philip Allott, the police and crime commissioner responsible for policing in North Yorkshire, was forced to resign after suggesting on BBC Radio York that Everard should have been more ‘streetwise’ and resisted what was later revealed to be a bogus arrest by Couzens.
Philip Allott, the police and crime commissioner responsible for policing in North Yorkshire, was forced to resign after suggesting Everard should have been more ‘streetwise’ and should not have ‘submitted’ to arrest by Couzens.
Sir Tom Windsor has said that trawls of private and work mobile phones would help deter officers using WhatsApp and other social media channels to share photographs of crime scenes and inappropriate jokes
Meanwhile, Sir Tom Windsor, the chief inspector of the constabulary, told The Times this week he believes that trawls of private and work mobile phones would help deter officers using WhatsApp and other social media channels to share photographs of crime scenes and inappropriate jokes.
It comes as four police officers, three of whom are still serving, are under investigation with the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) for allegedly participating in a group WhatsApp with Couzens where the group shared racist and misogynistic messages.
A Met probationary constable is also the subject of a misconduct inquiry for sharing a ‘highly offensive’ image with colleagues during the search for Sarah Everard in the days following her kidnapping, involving a joke about luring a woman into the woods and killing her.
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