By Maeve Cullinan
Three currently-serving Met officers have been convicted of a sexual offence since joining the force and continue to serve, a Freedom of Information Request (FOI) has found.
The FOI did not specify which type of sexual offence the officers had committed and there are a range of crimes that can be considered as sexual offences.
The Met has been under intense scrutiny over its recruitment since the murder and rape of Sarah Everard in March 2021 by serving Met Police officer Wayne Couzens.
A recent report published by His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services found significant issues in the Met’s vetting process.
Officers were cleared to join after “committing offences such as robbery, indecent exposure, possession of controlled drugs, drink-driving and domestic abuse-related assaults”.
In the past month alone, two Met police officers have been charged with sexual offences.
PC Rupert Edwards was charged with two counts of rape and will appear at Inner London Crown Court on Friday, while PC Chris Lee was charged with sexual assault on December 28 and will appear in court on January 26.
Jayne Butler, chief executive at Rape Crisis England and Wales, said: “It is vitally important that all police, whose job it is to enforce the law, are not complicit in committing crimes against women and girls.
“It is crucial still that when police officers do perpetrate sexual violence and abuse and other forms of violence against women and girls, that they are held accountable for their actions.”
The Metropolitan Police responded to the Freedom of Information Request and said: “The Commissioner has made clear that we will not hesitate to take whatever action is required to remove people from this organisation who fail to uphold our values and meet the standards that the public rightly expect and deserve.
“We worked closely with the HMICFRS inspectors at the time of their review and discussed those cases involving Met officers and staff where concerns were raised about vetting.
“Their work is progressing at pace. If it identifies people in our organisation who should not be here, we will take the steps necessary to seek their removal.”
Several Met officers have also received criminal convictions whilst serving for other crimes: seven officers have been convicted of violence against a person, 90 of traffic violations, and one of criminal damage.
Laura Russell, a 23-year-old woman from Winterbrook Road in Dulwich, said as a young woman in South London she felt “threatened” by the fact serving officers had sex offence convictions.
“It clearly attests to an intense culture of sexism and misogny within the institution,” she said.
“It makes you wonder how that kind of institution even begins to help victims of sexual offences and try and prevent them.”
(Picture: Met Police)