Speaking in the wake of the damning Casey review into the Metropolitan Police, the Labour leader said “modernising” policing and “defeating misogyny” were crucial in cutting crimes against women and girls.
But Sir Keir said he did not want to disband the Met because he did not believe a “heads-must roll” policy would be the most effective way of reforming the force.
Asked about under what conditions he would consider overhauling the Met, he said: “I resist the sort of structural, break-it-up, heads-must-roll model because I’ve seen that too often before where something goes wrong, there is a tendency to say, ‘Well as long as one person goes, then the problem is solved’. I’ve never really believed that that actually solved the problem.
“And having looked at Louise Casey’s findings, I don’t think that will be enough in relation to the Met. It is not that structure is the ultimate change, I actually think the ultimate change is the behavioural, cultural change.”
In a speech in Stoke where Sir Keir was speaking about Labour’s plans for crime and justice policies, he unveiled pledges: restoring confidence in the police, halve incidents of knife crime, reverse the fall in the proportion of crime solved.
He also promised to halve the levels of violence against women and girls by solving more crime and reducing the number of victims dropping out of the justice system.
Labour said it would put specialist domestic abuse workers in police control rooms responding to 999 calls and introduce a specialist rape unit in every force.
The party has also pledged to set up dedicated rape courts to improve the rate of prosecutions.
“Modernising the police is also the first step we must take on halving violence against women and girls,” Sir Keir added. “You can’t defeat misogyny without robust policing, but you can’t have robust policing without defeating misogyny.
“That’s what modern policing looks like, what serving your community looks like.
Sir Keir said he wanted to focus on prevention when it comes to knife crime but called for “smart legislation as well” and said he would make the criminal exploitation of children illegal to prevent county lines gangs recruiting minors.
And he said a future Labour government would do more to “stand up to the big tech companies” to protect children.
“Seriously, how can we ignore the fact a child can go onto the internet and buy a machete as easily as a football?” he said.
The Labour leader said he wanted to tackle social media algorithms “that bombard young minds with misogyny” to tackle the causes behind violence and sexual crimes.
“So my message to the big tech companies is this: the free ride is over. If you make money from the sale of weapons, or the radicalisation of people online, then we will find ways to make you accountable,” he said.