David Carrick failures see the Met betray the trust of Londoners – again
A failure of leadership? A broken culture? An abject lack of responsibility? All three seem evident at the Metropolitan Police – an organisation which has lost the trust of Londoners.
Yesterday’s lurid details of the crimes of David Carrick – a serial rapist who used his warrant card to win the trust of his victims – was shocking only because they were so similar to the other tales of the foulest behaviour from those who in theory are there to protect our city.
Last week it was revealed more than 150 officers across the force are prevented from public-facing roles due to allegations of sexual misconduct or racism. There have been ample reports of horrific messages being sent between Met coppers – be they the bodies of dead girls or racist, sexist and homophobic drivel doing the rounds of the now infamous Charing Cross station.
Dame Cressida Dick, who was fired last year, oversaw much of the Met’s decline, but you can not fix a diseased plant anywhere but at the root.
It is abundantly obvious that people within the Met knew that Carrick should have been nowhere near a uniform – his nickname was “Bastard Dave” because he was “mean and cruel.” Apparently nobody thought this might suggest he was not fit for duty. The thin blue line appears more a trade union than a protective force.
It’s not the first time, of course. Some within the Met expressed deep concern about Wayne Couzens, who came to the public’s knowledge when he raped and murdered Sarah Everard in 2021. Nothing happened. The Met said sorry then, too.
Of course, the Met lost the trust of some of London’s communities long ago. Ask the black community whether they fear a few ‘bad apples’ or whether they – after years of evidence – feel the force is institutionally racist.
Ask the LGBTQ+ community what they think of the Police botching an investigation into the murder of four gay men in Barking – with the Met originally declaring the death of two young gay men, propped up in the same position in the same graveyard miles away from their homes three weeks apart, to be non-suspicious?
“Not all cops”? That’s true – but it’s not remotely good enough.
The new Commissioner, Sir Mark Rowley, has promised reform. It was in precious little evidence yesterday, with the Assistant Commissioner wheeled out to say ‘sorry’ to his victims – whilst also saying, extraordinarily, that “he has devastated colleagues.”
If the Met was a corporate organisation it would have been wound down. The new boss must demonstrate, with far more urgency than we have seen so far, why the Met deserves the respect of Londoners.