LONDON: Female police officers fear reporting male colleagues as they worry they will be abandoned if they need help on duty, says a former senior officer.
Ex-Met Ch Supt Parm Sandhu said female officers fear being “kicked in” while dealing with street violence, BBC has reported.
And a police watchdog inspector has admitted she would be concerned to approach a lone male officer at night. They were speaking after Wayne Couzens was jailed for kidnapping, raping and killing Sarah Everard while an officer.
The 48-year-old abducted Ms Everard, 33, under the guise of an arrest as she walked home from a friend’s home in south London on 3 March.
Speaking to Radio 4’s The World at One, Ms Sandhu called the police service “very sexist and misogynistic”. She told how she had been “vilified” after reporting an incident involving a male colleague.
In an environment dominated by male officers, any objections to their behaviour was often cast aside as “banter”, the former senior officer said.
Ms Sandhu, who served in the Met for 30 years, said: “A lot of women will not report their colleagues. “What happens is that male police officers will then close ranks and the fear that most women police officers have got is that when you are calling for help, you press that emergency button or your radio, they’re not going to turn up and you’re going to get kicked in in the street.
“So you have got to be very careful which battles you can fight and which ones you can actually win.”
She added that women officers who are married to male police officers “won’t report domestic violence either because of the same sort of issues”. Ms Sandhu also called for change at the top – saying police commissioner Dame Cressida Dick “cannot move with the times”.