The Prime Minister and Sadiq Khan have renewed concerns about trust in the Metropolitan Police after it was revealed that a serving Metropolitan Police officer admitted 49 offences, including 24 counts of rape.
Rishi Sunak and the London Mayor’s comments come after the Met was forced to apologised to victims for Pc David Carrick, who carried out sex attacks on a dozen women over an 18-year period.
The force said sorry to victims after it emerged Carrick, 48, had come to the attention of police over nine incidents including allegations of rape, domestic violence, and harassment between 2000 and 2021.
Carrick – who joined the Met in 2001 before becoming an armed officer with the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command in 2009 – faced no criminal sanctions or misconduct findings, and was only suspended after being arrested over a second rape complaint in October 2021.
He appeared at Southwark Crown Court on Monday to plead guilty to four counts of rape, false imprisonment, and indecent assault, relating to a 40-year-old woman in 2003.
In December at the Old Bailey, Carrick, who had served in the Army before joining the Met in 2001, admitted 43 charges against 11 other women, including 20 counts of rape, between March 2004 and September 2020.
He denied a further count of rape in September 2020 relating to a 13th woman, whose allegation triggered the investigation, and the Crown Prosecution Service decided it was not in the public interest to proceed to trial on the charge.
The Government understands that public trust in the police has been affected by cases like Pc David Carrick, Downing Street has said.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “Certainly we’re in no doubt that the public’s trust has been affected by some of these high-profile cases.
“It’s why we have acted and we know that the Met Commissioner also understands the seriousness of this and has talked about it.”
The spokesman said while some changes had been made, there was “more to do”, adding that the Home Office will be bringing forward more details on police dismissals.
Rishi Sunak and Sadiq Khan respond
Downing Street said the actions of serving Metropolitan Police officer Pc David Carrick were “appalling”.
It comes after Carrick admitted 49 offences, including 24 counts of rape, after carrying out sex attacks on a dozen women over an 18-year period.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “This is an appalling case and the Prime Minister’s thoughts are with all of his victims. We have been clear, there is no place in our police forces for officers who fall so seriously short of the acceptable standards of behaviour and are not fit to wear the uniform.
“Police forces must root out these officers to restore the public’s trust, which has been shattered by high-profile events such as this.
“The Home Office is pushing for improvement and has recently announced a review of police dismissals to ensure the system is fair and effective at removing officers who are not fit to serve, following a range of concerns including those set out in the publication of Baroness Casey’s interim report into the culture and standards at the Metropolitan Police.”
Responding to the admission of guilt, Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “I am absolutely sickened and appalled by the truly abhorrent offences that David Carrick has committed.
“Londoners will be rightly shocked that this man was able to work for the Met for so long and serious questions must be answered about how he was able to abuse his position as an officer in this horrendous manner.
“I remain in close contact with the new Met Commissioner about this case and the work to reform the culture and standards of the Met has already started with Baroness Louise Casey’s interim review now complete and a new, anonymous police complaints hotline and anti-corruption team recently established by Sir Mark Rowley. But more can and must be done – including acting on the findings of the forthcoming Angiolini Inquiry – and I will continue to hold the Met to account as they work to implement the reforms needed.
“It’s vital that all victims of crime have confidence in our police, and we simply must do more to raise standards and empower police leaders to rid the Met and all other police services of those officers who are clearly unfit to serve.
“I fully support the Commissioner’s calls for the Home Secretary to urgently reform police regulations governing misconduct to help raise standards in the police. This is long overdue and I urge the Government to conclude their ongoing review of police dismissals quickly to ensure that the system is changed so it’s more effective in removing officers whose behaviour is demonstrably criminal or whose actions fall well short of the standards expected by policing and the public.”
What David Carrick was accused of:
Over drinks in a pub on September 4 2020, Carrick told a woman he was a firearms officer nicknamed “Bastard Dave”, showed her his warrant card and boasted of meeting famous people, including then-prime minister Boris Johnson, in the course of his work, a court previously heard.
In total Carrick, from Stevenage, Hertfordshire, has pleaded guilty to 49 offences, relating to 12 women between 2003 and 2020.
– 24 counts of rape
– nine counts of sexual assault
– five counts of assault by penetration
– three counts of coercive and controlling behaviour
– three counts of false imprisonment
– two counts of attempted rape
– one count of attempted sexual assault by penetration
– one count of causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent
– one count of indecent assault
They include the rape of nine different women, but some of the charges are multiple incident counts, meaning they relate to more than 80 sexual offences, including at least 48 rapes.
How the police has responded
Detective Chief Inspector Iain Moor, from Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit, said the “sheer number of offences” showed Carrick’s “prolific and callous nature” and he expects even more victims to come forward.
Carrick met some of the women through online dating sites such as Tinder and Badoo or on social occasions, using his position as a police officer to gain their trust.
“Whilst he was not a man that stalked the streets scouting for victims – he invested time in developing relationships with women to sustain his appetite for degradation and control – the coercive nature of his offending undermined his victims in the most destructive way,” said Mr Moor.
David Carrick – his crimes:
Carrick admitted raping nine of the women, some on multiple occasions over months or years, with many of those attacks involving violence that would have left them physically injured.
Some were locked in a small cupboard under the stairs in his Hertfordshire home for hours without food or forced to clean his house naked.
Carrick whipped one woman with a belt, urinated on some of his victims, and told them when they could eat and sleep.
He called women “fat and lazy” or his “slave” as he controlled them financially, isolated them from friends and family, and forbade them from speaking with other men or even their own children.
“He thrived on humiliating his victims and cleverly used his professional position to intimate there was no point in them trying to seek help because they would never be believed,” said Mr Moor.
“The coercive nature of his offending undermined his victims in the most destructive way.”
The officer described the false imprisonment charges as “shocking”, adding: “Carrick forced his victim into a small under-stairs cupboard at his home address where they stayed intimidated and humiliated until he chose when they could come out. I have seen bigger dog crates.”
“It is unbelievable to think these offences could have been committed by a serving police officer,” he said.
“The offending was absolutely abhorrent and I’m disgusted by it. I have a lot of pride and respect in the police service and I’m proud to be a policeman.
“When something like this happens, it obviously places a big cloud over the service as a whole.
“But I’m hoping that as a result of the thorough investigation that we’ve done and the fact that he’s been brought to justice will hopefully give people the confidence to be able to report matters to the police.”
Press Association – Henry Vaughan, reporters