10 UK police officers who committed depraved crimes while they were supposed to be serving the public
A shocking number of police officers have committed heinous offences while serving in England and Wales
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The change has been introduced in an attempt to restore the public’s trust and confidence in policing, in the wake of a number of high-profile cases of serving PCs committing murder, rape, and other serious offences. This includes Met Police officer Wayne Couzens, who was jailed for the kidnap, rape, and murder of Sarah Everard, and Met PC David Carrick, who carried out a series of horrifying sex attacks on several women while he was serving in the force.
Home Secretary Suella Braverman, who will formally announce the new measures today (31 August), said: “Corrupt police officers must be kicked out of our forces. For too long, our police chiefs have not had the powers they need to root out those who have no place wearing the uniform. Now they can take swift and robust action to sack officers who should not be serving our communities.”
Chris Philp, the policing minister, added that this is “an important step to ensure we are ridding forces of rogue officers”, while Met Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley, who has long been campaigning for chiefs to have greater powers to remove officers, said he was glad the government had recognised the need for “substantial change”.
It seems obvious that a finding of gross misconduct should automatically result in a police officer being sacked, but until now, this wasn’t the case at all. In fact, many police officers have stayed in post following misconduct panels, criminal allegations, and court proceedings - and even more have committed depraved offences while serving in England and Wales.
So, to offer a glimpse into the scale of the problem, NationalWorld has taken a look at some of the UK’s worst offending police officers from the last few years.
Wayne Couzens flashed his Met Police-issued warrant card to falsely arrest 33-year-old Sarah Everard while she walked home across Clapham Common, before abducting, raping, and murdering her in a case which shocked the nation.
Since Couzens’ conviction, it has been revealed that police chiefs missed several chances to identify him as a danger to the public. The earliest known failure happened in 2015 when the rapist and killer PC was reported for indecent exposure - but officers failed to arrest him despite having his name, address, and the registration of a car he had allegedly used to flash a pedestrian.
It was later discovered that the police sergeant who investigated the case, known as X, had previously worked with Couzens at Ashford Police station - and knew his brother. Couzens is currently serving a life sentence for his vile offending against Ms Everard.
In February, David Carrick was sentenced to a minimum of 30 years in prison after pleading guilty to more than 70 serious offences - including rape, sexual assault, false imprisonment, and coercive or controlling behaviour. He had attacked 12 women over a nearly two decade period - the entire time during which he was a serving Met Police officer.
Sentencing, Judge Mrs Justice Cheema-Grubb said Carrick had used his position as a PC to “take monstrous advantage of women” - with the court hearing of one occasion in which he told a victim he “was the safest person she could be with” before holding a handgun to her head and raping her repeatedly. Carrick also threatened another victim with his police-issued baton, and sent her a photograph of his work firearm, saying, “remember, I am the boss”.
Carrick faced a number of serious allegations and accusations during his time as a police officer dating back to 2000, but was not sacked until 2023. You can read the full timeline here.
“Jekyll and Hyde” Adam Provan was this month jailed for 16 years for the rape of a 16-year-old girl who he met on a blind date after lying to her about his age, and for the rape of a fellow police officer, which was said to form part of “a campaign of controlling and abusive behaviour” against her.
His despicable offences were committed during his 16-year career as a PC, while he served in the Met’s East Area Command Unit, but again, a series of chances were missed to stop him. Between starting his police officer training in 2003 and his eventual conviction in 2023, several allegations of sexual assault were made against him - and members of the public voiced concerns about his suitability as a police officer.
When he was arrested for the rape of Lauren Taylor, who has since waived her right to anonymity to speak out about the traumatic experience, Provan was not initially sacked from the force.
Jamie Lewis was one of two Met Police officers who took photographs of the bodies of murdered sisters Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman and shared them in a group chat on WhatsApp. One of the photographs was accompanied by a sickening message from Lewis, which lamented the fact he was “sat next to the two dead birds with stab wounds”.
He also superimposed his face onto one of the images with the two murdered women visible in the background, to produce a “selfie-style” image.
Deniz Jaffer was also tasked with securing the scene of Henry and Smallman’s murders, but he too abused his position as a police officer and took pictures of the sisters on his personal phone. He also risked contaminating the evidence, as he crept beyond the cordon to get a better shot.
Both Lewis and Jaffer were jailed for two years and nine months in December 2021 after admitting to misconduct in public office. However, they were released from prison in May after serving just over half their sentence.
Adnan Ali was found guilty of five counts of sexual assault against young male and female police cadets. He carried out the abuse while working on the Greater Manchester Police’s volunteer cadet scheme between 2015 and 2018.
Chief Constable Stephen Watson said: “PC Ali engaged in sexual activity on police premises in an area that was periodically used by young apprentices and cadets. This was a fundamental breach of the public’s trust in police officers and inevitably brings the profession into disrepute.”
The sex offender was sacked after being found guilty of gross misconduct in April 2022, but senior officers admitted more could have been done to supervise him.
At the age of 27, Jamie Rayner was jailed for assaulting his partner - a junior Met Police officer - during a coercive and controlling relationship. The PC repeatedly pinned her down and throttled her, and at one point in their relationship, kicked and punched her, causing bruises and a bloodied lip. He then slammed a door into her stomach.
When the victim told colleagues about the abuse, Rayner threatened to make up false allegations about her and suggested she blame her injuries on “rough sex”.
In June, Ireland Murdock was jailed for four years for rape - an offence he committed while serving in the Met Police. He also received a further six weeks of jail time for searching his victim’s name and accessing her restricted crime report on a police database - which he did after the woman reported that he had assaulted her.
In contrast to some of the others on this list, Murdock was dismissed from the Met in July 2022 after pleading guilty to “unauthorised access to computer material”. He was also added to the barred list, meaning he cannot work for the police, local policing bodies, or watchdog the IOPC.
Hussain Chehab, who worked as a Met Police Safer Schools officer, was in March jailed for five years over a string of child sexual abuse offences. This included sexual activity with a girl aged 13 to 15, which happened before he became a police officer.
However, Chehab also admitted to three counts of making indecent photographs of a child, in offending which was carried out while he was posted at a school in north London in 2021.
Luke Thomas was found guilty of misconduct after sending a series of “vile” messages to colleagues in a WhatsApp group chat named “Secret Squirrel S***”. Among other remarks, Thomas, who was a sergeant at the time, suggested to the group that he would name his dog “Auschwitz” or “Adolf”, or “Fred” or “Ian”, after his “two favourite child sex killers.”
He also praised a fellow police officer as a “legend” because he “once got away with rape”, and made derogatory comments about a junior female officer - describing her as an “it” and “f****** ugly”. He resigned before he could be sacked, but has been barred from serving as a police officer again.