Exclusive: ‘I reported a rape to the police. It’s clear how cases like Wayne Couzens and David Carrick happen’

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In the wake of the ‘devastating’ revelations about David Carrick, Tashmia Owen tells NationalWorld about her ‘traumatising’ experience of reporting rape to the Metropolitan Police.

In 2020, Tashmia Owen reported to the Metropolitan Police that she had been raped by two people. She just wanted someone - anyone - to help her.

But during the investigation, she says a detective told her he didn’t want to hear from her unless “you think you are going to die”, meaning she has been left traumatised as well as “utterly terrified of the police”.

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“The detective who investigated my rape was horrendous,” Tashmia said. “He regularly shouted at me. He disbelieved everything I said. He would use really triggering, sexual language - like he was deliberately trying to upset me.”

The 44-year-old has waived her right to anonymity to talk to NationalWorld following the shocking revelations about rapist PC David Carrick. The Met Police officer recently admitted to dozens of sex attacks, which were carried out over more than a decade while he was working for Scotland Yard. Tashmia told us she wanted to speak publicly as it “helps others come forward with their experiences”.

During the investigation, Tashmia said one of the perpetrators would stalk and harass her, and even send her threats. She reported the harassment to the detective, as she thought she was meant to do. But she said this resulted in the detective calling her late one evening to say: “I don’t want to hear you complain about threats unless someone is physically breaking your limbs, or you truly think you are going to die.”

The 44-year-old, who lives in Haringey, London, also says she found that she came up against a lot of victim-blaming assumptions. “There was a lot of eye-rolling because I was on a night out when the rape happened,” she explained - adding that another issue was the fact that one of the perpetrators was a well-known public figure, so the detective “decided [she] was doing this for attention”.

“I don’t know a single woman who can say she’s benefited from reporting something like this,” Tashmia said. “It’s just unbelievable. It’s nonsensical.”

In the wake of the ‘devastating’ revelations about David Carrick, Tashmia Owen tells NationalWorld about her ‘traumatising’ experience of reporting rape to the Metropolitan Police.  In the wake of the ‘devastating’ revelations about David Carrick, Tashmia Owen tells NationalWorld about her ‘traumatising’ experience of reporting rape to the Metropolitan Police.
In the wake of the ‘devastating’ revelations about David Carrick, Tashmia Owen tells NationalWorld about her ‘traumatising’ experience of reporting rape to the Metropolitan Police. | Tashmia Owen

Whenever she was questioned at a police station, a Sexual Offences Liaison Officer was also present. But Tashmia said this officer rarely spoke.

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“She would sit there very quietly while he shouted at me,” she explained. “I don’t know if she was scared of him. Sometimes, when I cried, she would say ‘we’re only trying to help you’, which obviously felt completely incongruent to what was happening. She moved units before my case was closed.”

Tashmia decided to report the behaviour of the detective, which resulted in a meeting with a superintendent from the Met Police. She says the superintendent told her: “You can’t blame him for the way he’s acting - the amount of false accusations we get these days, the majority of women are liars.”

When she described some of the things the detective had said to her, Tashia says the superintendent laughed and commented: “He’s a bit of a dinosaur, but he’s all bark and no bite.”

Tashmia reported both of the detectives involved in her case  - but neither faced any misconduct action. Credit: Getty ImagesTashmia reported both of the detectives involved in her case  - but neither faced any misconduct action. Credit: Getty Images
Tashmia reported both of the detectives involved in her case - but neither faced any misconduct action. Credit: Getty Images | AFP via Getty Images

After that meeting, Tashmia decided to report the superintendent’s behaviour too, but throughout the investigation, she says no one contacted her for further details or any of her evidence. Several months later, she was told the case had been closed as all staff involved had denied her claims.

A spokesperson for the Met Police told NationalWorld: “Both complaints were fully investigated. The detective and detective sergeant were given words of advice, however no misconduct was found.”

Neither officer was put under restricted duties. NationalWorld has asked Scotland Yard whether the complaints were investigated internally or externally.

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“It becomes clear how cases like Wayne Couzens and David Carrick come about,” Tashmia said. “If they all deny things, and cover for each other, then nothing ever gets taken further.”

On the evening of 3 March 2021, Wayne Couzens used his Met Police-issued warrant card and handcuffs to snatch Sarah Everard as she walked home from a friend’s house in Clapham, London. He drove her to a secluded rural area in Kent, where he raped and killed her.

Couzens had been investigated for an indecent exposure allegation six years before the tragic murder of Ms Everard - but no further action was taken. He has since been charged with four counts of the offence.

Carrick, who served in the same unit as Couzens, recently admitted to a series of rapes and sexual offences, committed over an 18-year period, which makes a police officer one of Britain’s most prolific sex offenders. During this time, he came to the attention of the force on numerous occasions - but still faced no misconduct action nor any criminal sanctions.

David Carrick (left) and Wayne Couzens (right) were both serving Met Police officers when they committed their crimes. Credit: PADavid Carrick (left) and Wayne Couzens (right) were both serving Met Police officers when they committed their crimes. Credit: PA
David Carrick (left) and Wayne Couzens (right) were both serving Met Police officers when they committed their crimes. Credit: PA | PA

“Hearing the news of these men is emotionally exhausting,” Tashmia said. “And it’s devastating because it’s all so familiar - the amount of times I raised complaints but got told I was imagining it or lying. It’s exactly what leads to these officers getting away with these things and then doing something even more horrendous.

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“You start feeling hopeless… like your voice doesn’t exist. I feel incredibly let down by the police, and I’m terrified of them too. Whenever I see a police officer or a hint of blue lights, I freeze.”

Tashmia also told NationalWorld that she believes there needs to be a statutory inquiry into misogyny and violence against women and girls within the police force. She said: “They need to get rid of the senior officers who have allowed this to happen, and people in the same units need to be investigated - because they’ve also been allowing this to happen.”