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The rot goes much deeper than individual cops

Revelations about the Met police show sexism runs through the system
Issue 2873
Protester holds homemade side which reads Defund the police

On the vigil for Sarah Everard in March 2021 (Picture: Guy Smallman)

The Met Police is saturated with abusers, top cops have admitted. About 1,600 cops and staff are under investigation for violence against women or sexual abuse, and 1,000 are suspended.

It’s yet more evidence that the police don’t just reflect a rotten and oppressive society, they are integral to it.

The police attracts sexists, racists and homophobes who see a place to implement their vile views and act them out. The cops are much worse than ordinary people.

Those who head the cops hope that revelations of the action over such crimes will be taken as evidence of their determination to root out the abusers.

Stuart Cundy, the deputy assistant commissioner leading a standards review, said on Monday that 100 officers had been dismissed for gross misconduct in the past 12 months.

The Met is sacking more officers because it wants us to believe that except for a few rotten apples, it is full of protectors, not predators.

We shouldn’t go along with such lies. Individual cops are foul, but the corruption goes far deeper than rapist cops David Carrick and Wayne Couzens.

It is embedded in their role as implementing the priorities of an oppressive capitalist society, protecting the rich, and beating back those who step out of line.

That’s why report after report finds that the police are institutionally racist, sexist and homophobic. It’s why they don’t like working class people and are always prepared to be used against militant protests and strikes.  

The police force is a sharp example of the way hierarchy and gulfs in power enable sexism and abuse.

But, as the Me Too movement rightly showed, these issues go far wider. Men in positions of power are able to not only abuse women, but also get away with it.

The Russell Brand allegations—following many other cases—are another example of that. Abuse infests workplaces, sport, the media and the way “celebrities” act.

Wider recognition of this, and the fact that women have refused to be silent has opened up what was hidden.

It’s why trade unions and political organisations, including the Socialist Workers Party, have rightly been forced to question their policies and approach to such issues.

The role of the police is to uphold the state, which is reliant on oppression to keep the ruling class on top and ordinary people divided. The Met, and other police forces, cannot be severed from these ties.

But the solution isn’t nicer cops in the Met, it’s to abolish the Met. And everywhere we need openness about sexism, women’s oppression and abuse.

We need a war on sexism and the capitalist system that generates and upholds oppression.

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