The family of one of serial killer Stephen Port’s victims has said the Metropolitan Police must confront its “institutional” homophobia.
Their statement comes after the damning Casey review, which reported the Metropolitan is riddled with “institutional racism, sexism, and homophobia.”
Baroness Louise Casey of Blackstock DBE CB conducted the review and released her findings on Tuesday (21 March).
Casey called for a “complete overhaul” and a “new approach to restore public trust and confidence”.
The report highlighted the cases of Anthony Walgate, Gabriel Kovari, Daniel Whitworth, and Jack Taylor. All four were in their early 20s when they died of GHB overdoses administered by Port in his East London home between June 2014 and September 2015.
In a statement, issued by their lawyers, Jack Taylor’s sisters, Donna and Jenny, have called for a public inquiry.
“You can’t put it right and change the culture if you don’t know what’s going wrong, why it’s going wrong, or fail to fully investigate the root of the problems,” they also noted.
They shared “someone needs to take responsibility” for the Metropolitan’s homophobia, the Evening Standard reported.
“An absence of this raises concerns about that institution’s ability to tackle homophobia where it exists”
Port was found guilty of murder in 2016 and given a whole-life tariff, meaning he will never be released from prison.
The families claimed Scotland Yard’s errors were “driven by homophobia”, which has long been denied by the Metropolitan Police.
A 2021 inquest into the murders found failings by the Met “probably” contributed to the deaths of Kovari, Taylor, and Whitworth.
A jury said the Metropolitan Police had “missed opportunities” in the first three investigations.
Though the families have maintained homophobia played a part Coroner Sarah Munro ruled this out.
Following the inquest, the Independent Office for Police Conduct said a “new investigation is in the public interest.”
Casey criticised the Metropolitan Police for its failure to recognise the role of homophobia in the Stephen Port case.
This was partly due to an unwillingness by the Metropolitan Police to look inward and examine its internal cultures, according to the review.
“An absence of this raises concerns about that institution’s ability to tackle homophobia where it exists,” Casey noted.
In response to Casey’s review, senior police figures refused to agree that issues were “institutional.”