Police need to call time on elements of canteen culture where “sexist nicknames and derogatory remarks are made”, the National Chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales said.
John Apter, head of the organisation which represents more than 130,000 officers from the rank of constable to chief inspector, wrote in the Sunday Times of the need for culture change in the wake of the Sarah Everard murder.
Police officer Wayne Couzens was handed a whole-life tariff in September after kidnapping, raping and murdering the 33-year-old Ms Everard.
Mr Apter said the “horrific” murder had impacted the public’s relationship with the police, writing: “It’s not enough to just say that this was the action of one evil man who deserves to rot in jail.”
He added: “Misogyny is not just a problem for women, it’s a problem for us all. Far too often there is silence when this takes place, and through this inaction we are failing each other and wider society.
“We need to consign to the history books some of our canteen culture where sexist nicknames and derogatory remarks are made. When banter crosses the line to become sexist, derogatory or homophobic, that’s when it ceases to be banter.”
Officers must demonstrate through their words and their actions that sexism has no place in policing, he added.
Last week, the police watchdog revealed five police officers from four forces are facing disciplinary action over messages shared on social media about Sarah Everard’s killer.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said a Metropolitan Police constable on probation was investigated over allegations they used WhatsApp “to share with colleagues an inappropriate graphic, depicting violence against women” while off-duty.
Another Pc still on probation had a case to answer for “allegedly sharing the graphic and failing to challenge it” and will also be subject to a misconduct meeting.
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