It took six long years after the brutal murder of Stephen Lawrence before Sir William MacPherson published his report saying that the Metropolitan police were “institutionally racist”.

Twenty-three years on there have been additions to the charge sheet with this week’s Louise Casey findings throwing in misogyny and homophobia.

Her report was commissioned on the back of the equally shocking killing of Sarah Everard, made all the more horrendous by the fact of her rapist and murderer being a serving Met officer.

There will now follow the usual back and forth between those talking about a few bad apples, and those suggesting that the Met has become too large and too unwieldy to reform itself, however well intentioned the new police commissioner.

I’m in the latter camp. When you have more than 32,000 full-time officers, it’s difficult to see how you can reasonably be expected to effect real cultural change, or transform what one battle weary female member of staff called a boys’ club. 

Like so many other serving police folk, she was aware that her raising complaints would too often result in little more than an official shrug.

So what to do about the thousands, who sign up in good faith to try and help their community? More bobbies on the beat is a pretty hollow slogan for my money. But when I lived in central Glasgow we did have a community officer who took that title really seriously. He took the time and trouble to get to know us all and tune into what was working and what wasn’t.

Beyond that I’d reverse the current trend to send out police to protests dressed as if they were on the front line of the Ukrainian war. 

I get that it’s important to protect our forces, but if you’re got up in a helmet, visor, protective military style gear and clutching a riot shield, it’s difficult to see how you can come over as user friendly to any member of the public. 

How will the latter ever know if they’re facing a good cop or one whose “uniform” encourages a hostile demeanour? There has to be a rethink.