David Carrick: Investigations launched into Met Police handling of allegations against serial rapist
The Met Police is to be investigated by the police watchdog over concerns officers repeatedly failed to take action against serial sex offender David Carrick.
and live on Freeview channel 276
The Met Police is to be investigated by the police watchdog over concerns officers repeatedly failed to take action against serial sex offender David Carrick - despite multiple criminal allegations being made against him while he was a serving PC.
Initially, the Met conducted its own internal inquiry into the case and did not identify any conduct issues for officers involved in investigating Carrick. But the Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC) disagreed - invoking its rarely-used “power of initiative” to launch four separate investigations, involving eight officers and one other member of staff.
Carrick, 48, was in February sentenced to a minimum of 30 years and 239 days in prison. He pleaded guilty to 49 charges detailing no less than 71 serious offences - including rape, sexual assault, false imprisonment, and coercive or controlling behaviour - against 12 women, in deplorable offending which took place over almost two-decades.
All of his crimes were committed while he was a serving police constable, despite multiple allegations being made against him. The IOPC said if an allegation made by a former partner of Carrick back in 2002 had been properly looked into, he could have been sacked before beginning his series of vile attacks.
Other cases where Met Police officers are being investigated include the handling of a 2016 report of harassment and stalking, a 2019 report of Carrick attacking and dragging a woman out of his house, and a 2021 report of a woman being raped by Carrick. In each of these cases, misconduct investigations were started by the Met - but later failed to be progressed.
Something the watchdog has flagged as being of particular concern, and which will be looked into, was the fact Carrick’s name was twice removed from the Met’s system records. This means prior complaints against the ex-PC were not flagged when new ones were made.
The majority of the issues being investigated involve how Carrick was handled by the Met’s Department of Professional Standards (DPS). This is because many of the original criminal complaints made against him were initially handled by other forces, so the IOPC is instead looking into why the Met failed to pursue misconduct proceedings - which require a lower burden of proof.
IOPC regional director Mel Palmer, said: “We identified indications that some officers may have behaved in a manner which would justify disciplinary proceedings. Our review has identified repeated failures to progress conduct investigations when the Met’s DPS officers were advised that no further action was being taken by the forces carrying out the criminal investigations into Carrick.
“We were also deeply concerned to find that in respect of two of the cases, David Carrick’s name was removed from the MPS’s [Metropolitan Police Services’] system records after the criminal investigations were dropped. This meant that some prior allegations made against Carrick did not show up in the system when further allegations were later made, leading to MPS officers being unable to build a complete picture of his pattern of offending.
“These were potentially missed opportunities to pursue gross misconduct investigations against Carrick, which may have led to his dismissal years before he was eventually arrested.”
Commenting on the Met’s own internal inquiry into the Carrick case, which has now been contradicted by the IOPC’s investigations, Debaleena Dasgupta, a solicitor at the Centre for Women’s Justice who is acting for six victims of Carrick, said: “It raises questions about the quality and depth of their internal investigation and purported commitment to ensuring it does not happen again.”
In the wake of cases like Carrick or scandals such as the Casey Review - which was commissioned following the horrifying kidnap, rape, and murder of Sarah Everard by serving Met Police officer Wayne Couzens - Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley has repeatedly claimed he is committed to overhauling the force’s culture and investigating officers who do not meet its standards.
In a statement, the Met said it had written to the IOPC in January urging it to review its handling of Carrick, and welcomed the announcement of the investigation.
A Met Police spokesperson added: “We are absolutely committed to identifying and rooting out those who corrupt our integrity and have no place in policing. We welcome the important role that independent scrutiny has to play in improving our practices in this area.”