We failed, he shouldn't have been a cop: Met chief sorry after force missed nine chances to stop rapist David Carrick

16 January 2023, 13:29 | Updated: 16 January 2023, 19:21

Carrick, an armed PC, served in the parliamentary and diplomatic protection unit of the Met.
Carrick, an armed PC, served in the parliamentary and diplomatic protection unit of the Met. Picture: Met Police/Alamy/PA
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

The Metropolitan Police's commissioner Sir Mark Rowley has apologised for the force's failure to stop serial rapist David Carrick in his tracks, saying "he should not have been a police officer".

The Met has come under fire for missing nine opportunities to arrest Carrick, who admitted to 49 separate offences against 12 women.

Carrick, 47, from Stevenage, Hertfordshire, served as a diplomatic protection officer during the 17-year period in which the offences were committed.

Now, the Met is facing increasing pressure to justify their decisions, with Number 10 warning trust in the police had been "shattered" following the news.

Met Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley said the force had "let women and girls down" by failing to stop Carrick's actions, and apologised to his victims.

He said: "This man abused women in the most disgusting manner. It is sickening. We've let women and girls down and indeed we've let Londoners down.

"The women who suffered and survived this violence have been unimaginably brave and courageous in coming forward."

He continued: "We have failed. And I'm sorry. He should not have been a police officer. We haven't applied the same sense of ruthlessness to guarding our own integrity that we routinely apply to confronting criminals.

"I apologise to all of David Carrick's victims. And I also want to say sorry to all of the women across London who feel we've let them down."

Brought to the attention of police a suspected nine times between 2000 and 2020, Carrick passed two rounds of vetting despite the extensive list of allegations against him.

The harassment of former girlfriends and the assault of multiple women are among the 49 counts the officer admitted to.

Carrick had served in the Army before joining the Met in 2001, admitting to 49 charges in total over a 17 year period.
Carrick had served in the Army before joining the Met in 2001, admitting to 49 charges in total over a 17 year period. Picture: LBC / Alamy

Some counts, however, comprise of multiple incidents, meaning the number of individual offences total more than 80 sexual offences.

Sir Mark continued: "We failed as investigators where we should have been more intrusive and joined the dots on this repeated misogyny over a couple of decades.

"And as leaders, our mindset should have been more determined to root out such a misogynist.

"These failures are horrific examples of the systemic failures that concern me and were highlighted by Baroness Casey in her recent review. I do know an apology doesn't go far enough, but I do think it's important to acknowledge our failings and for me to say I'm sorry."

Labour MP Jess Philips promises new Labour vetting processes

Speaking on Tonight with Andrew Marr, Labour MP and shadow minister for domestic violence and safeguarding Jess Phillips said Carrick's case represents a deeper issue within the Metropolitan police service.

She told Andrew: "It wasn't just David Carrick's actions, it was the fact he was able to rise up the ranks, become a firearms officer, which takes further scrutiny.

"There is a systematic problem rather than just the depravity of one individual.

"I don't think we can single this out as being just about the Metropolitan Police force - I've seen this across police forces across the country."

Included in the 49 counts Carrick has admitted to are:

24 counts of rape

9 counts of sexual assault

5 counts of assault by penetration

3 counts of coercive and controlling behaviour

3 counts of false imprisonment

2 counts of attempted rape

1 count of attempted sexual assault by penetration

1 count of causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent

1 count of indecent assault

It comes amid a fresh wave of criticism aimed at police over “missed opportunities” to remove corrupt officers from the force.

Known to police prior to joining the force, Carrick had served in the Army prior to joining the Met in 2001 before joining the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command in 2009.

Describing the findings as “long overdue”, London Mayor Sadiq Khan welcomed the outcome, noting the police "simply must do more".

"I am absolutely sickened and appalled by the truly abhorrent offences that David Carrick has committed,” said Khan.

"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.”

David Carrick
David Carrick. Picture: Met Police

"It's vital that all victims of crime have confidence in our police."

Adding: “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.”

Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley has already said he believes hundreds of corrupt officers that should have faced the sack are still serving within the force.

The Met has already faced heavy criticism over its internal disciplinary procedures with Baroness Casey finding the system to be racist and misogynistic.

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Her findings showed allegations of sexual misconduct or discrimination were less likely to be escalated than other claims.

Carrick’s case is one of 1,633 being revisited by police, involving 1,071 officers and staff across the Met.

Shilpa Shah, the Senior Crown Prosecutor in the case, said: "With a vast number of charges for rape and serious sexual assault, as well as victims spanning a 17-year-period, this is one of the most significant cases the Crown Prosecution Service has dealt with.

Carrick admitted to 49 counts totalling 80 sexual incidents
Carrick admitted to 49 counts totalling 80 sexual incidents. Picture: PA

"It was harrowing seeing how victims were relentlessly manipulated; they were financially cut off and isolated from their friends and family and repeatedly raped and sexually assaulted.

"Carrick took so much from them both physically and mentally.

"It didn't matter to Carrick who the victim was - a new girlfriend, a partner, a friend or a stranger - he would still abuse them.

The court heard how Carrick locked some of his victims in a small cupboard under the stairs in his Hertfordshire home for hours without food and forced them to clean his house naked.

He told one victim fellow firearms officers nicknamed him 'B*****d Dave', showing her his warrant card and boasting of the famous individuals he'd met in the line of duty.

He whipped one woman with a belt, urinated on some of his victims, and told them when they could eat and sleep.

The officer controlled women's finances, and called them "fat and lazy" or his "slave".

Describing the “tremendous courage” shown by victims, Shah said their decision to pursue justice would ensure the end of Carrick's offending.

Mrs Justice Cheema-Grubb said she will sentence Carrick over two days from February 6.