Home London News Ex-officer speaks of a ‘wall of silence at Met that protects officers like Couzens and Carrick’

Ex-officer speaks of a ‘wall of silence at Met that protects officers like Couzens and Carrick’

by
Ricky Haruna

Ricky Haruna, 46, formerly of the Metropolitan Police, says there is a ‘wall of silence’ at the police force that enables officers like David Carrick and Wayne Couzens to thrive. She says there are certainly more people like them at the force.

Haruna is a decorated officer with more than 17 years at the force. She guarded Kate Middleton, the princess of Wales, and the Duke of Edinburgh. She won a string of commendations for having the highest amount of arrests and detections on her pitch.

She’s come out with her experience after The Casey Review deemed the Met to be institutionally racist, homophobic, and misogynistic. Since 2002 Haruna endured significant racism.

Recalling a specific incident, she describes a senior officer asking an Asian officer if he was asleep or not because “I can’t tell if your eyes are open or closed”. Between 2010 and 2012 she repeatedly raised racism complaints only to be dismissed by the force for gross misconduct in 2013.

She reported a senior officer of using racial slurs and in response, the officer accused her of defrauding an elderly woman. The forced dismissed her but she challenged it by evidencing that, as the only black and female officer on her patch, colleagues called her the ‘n-word’ and excluded her from Christmas parties. She was reinstated and sued for wrongful dismissal and racial harassment, causing the Met to settle without admitting liability.

Ricky Haruna
Ricky Haruna served for 17 years

Since her legal triumphs current officers still contact her for help as they are being victimised in the same way. Ricky said: “They are scared to speak out as they’ll be targeted. It sends the message that if you complain about discrimination, you’re the problem.”

PC Ricky said: “I’m convinced there are still evil men like them embedded in the Met who are hiding in plain sight. I was trusted to guard Kate Middleton when she was dating Prince William. It was such a serious role – yet I had colleagues whose behaviour was absolutely reprehensible. Why would you put these guys in such a position of power and trust?”

The former Police Officer of the Year added: “Sadly, and I’ve seen it all with my own eyes. There’s a wall of silence in the Met that protects these awful characters. You look at Carrick and the things he did. That wasn’t by chance.

“He was a repeat offender able to work unchecked and keep getting away with it. He was complained about and nothing happened – that just gave him even more confidence to carry out increasingly evil crimes while wearing the badge.

“It’s this culture that allows people like him and Couzens to do what they did. It starts with smaller behaviours that go unchecked and become more sinister. One minute they’re flashing and next they’re raping and murdering. That’s not an exaggeration – that is exactly what has happened.”

Ricky Harun responds to the Casey Review
Baroness Louise Casey wrote a 363 page report on the state of the Met //AP

Ricky said: “There was a bully-boy culture. If you didn’t fit in – if it was your colour, you’re female or you’re homosexual – you’re gonna be the target. If you’re on an op, there’s about 30 of you on the bus. There would always be one or two picked on.

“Female officers would be called Sheila or Doris. I remember hearing one male officer saying, ‘Maybe she can look after kids while we do the arresting’. Some would refuse to work with gay colleagues. They’d be made to partner up with one of the women instead.

“There’d be all these alpha male officers bragging about their sex lives behind their wife’s back. It was a shameful canteen culture. As a female, I felt invisible. I was disgusted by it.”

A Met spokesman said: “The claim brought by PC Haruna has been settled by mutual agreement and with no admission of liability. Allegations of misconduct in her claim were fully investigated. No misconduct by any officers or staff was identified.”

The Met has called for the Casey report to be a catalyst for reform. Shadow policing minister Sarah Jones said: “The Conservatives’ response to police standards has always been to blame someone else, refusing to take any proper action.

“Labour will change the law to make rules on vetting, misconduct and training mandatory for every force to root out misogyny, racism, homophobia and all discrimination.”

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