The Women’s Equality Party has launched a campaign to combat misogyny in the Metropolitan Police, which has come to the fore following a report by the Independent Office for Police Conduct.
Following investigations into the behaviour of officers, the IOPC found racism, misogyny, harassment and the exchange of offensive social media messages among officers based at Charing Cross police station, a team now disbanded.
On 4 February, The Women's Equality Party placed boards around Charing Cross masquerading as police appeals for help from the public.
The boards contained two quotes from texts and WhatsApp messages between Charing Cross police officers. The first quote asks: “You ever slapped your missus?”
The second quote follows on from the first, and reads: “It makes them love you more. Seriously since I did that she won’t leave me alone. Now I know why these daft c**** are getting murdered by their sp*stic boyfriends. Knock a bird about and she will love you. Human nature. They are biologically programmed to like that s***.”
The out-of-home campaign tied in with wider efforts, with the Women’s Equality Party making 750 phone calls to the Home Secretary on Friday to demand “an independent inquiry into misogyny and a radical overhaul” of the Metropolitan Police, and the campaign asks readers to get involved as well.
The number of phone calls matches the 750 Met Police officers and staff who faced sexual misconduct allegations, of whom 83 were fired.
Mandu Reid, leader of WEP, said: “We are tired of being told that it’s a few bad apples. How much more evidence does the Home Secretary need that misogyny is baked into our police forces?
"Unless there is a proper inquiry, with statutory powers, the culture in our police forces will never change."
Responding to the report, the Metropolitan Police said it was “deeply sorry” to everyone it had failed.
Commissioner Cressida Dick – who has presided over a series of scandals at the Met – said: "There is no place in the Met for the appalling behaviour displayed by officers at Charing Cross police station.
"I recognise there is a need for real change and we are creating a service that is utterly intolerant to bullying and discrimination."