Watchdog launches multiple investigations into claims Met Police failed to take David Carrick allegations seriously

20 July 2023, 14:38 | Updated: 20 July 2023, 15:23

David Carrick will serve a minimum 30 years in prison after admitting to 85 offences
David Carrick will serve a minimum 30 years in prison after admitting to 85 offences. Picture: social media/alamy
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

The police watchdog has launched several investigations into the Metropolitan Police following claims it failed to treat allegations against serial rapist David Carrick appropriately.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said it has launched four separate investigations into the conduct of eight Met officers and one staff member.

The watchdog says it has taken the "unusual" step amid concerns the Met failed to take appropriate action when criminal allegations were made against the former police officer.

A spokesperson for the Met Police said it acknowledges "serious flaws in our approach meant we did not spot his pattern of abusive behaviour".

"As a result, we missed opportunities to pursue him through the misconduct process. We deeply regret this," they said in a statement.

Serial rapist David Carrick
Serial rapist David Carrick. Picture: social media

One of the four investigations will assess an allegation made by Carrick's former partner in 2002, when the serial rapist was a probationary constable.

Had he been subject to a disciplinary investigation at the time with regard to this allegation, he may have been removed from the force.

While the Met investigation the allegation, no assessment by the Department of Professional Standards (DPS) was made. It means Carrick was only spoken to by his line manager.

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Other allegations being investigated include:

  • Harassment and stalking by a former partner - no further action was taken. Met's DPS were made aware but no further action taken (2016)
  • A woman being attacked and dragged out of Carrick's house by him. Met's DPS were made aware but no further action taken (2019)
  • Woman being raped by Carrick - recorded by Sussex Police and passed on to Hertfordshire Constabulary.

In all three of those cases, the Met's DPS started misconduct investigations but they were not progressed following advice for no further action to be taken.

Carrick, who remained a police officer until October 2021, therefore faced no disciplinary action for any of the serious allegations made.

IOPC regional director Mel Palmer said: “David Carrick’s horrendous offending, which occurred over almost two decades while he remained a police officer, shocked the public and cast a dark shadow on policing, and we want to acknowledge the courage of his victims in reporting this offending. 

“The nature and extent of his offending also raised serious questions about whether disciplinary action should have been taken against him when serious allegations were made about his behaviour. 

“The police forces did not record any conduct matters arising from their handling of allegations against Carrick, however we identified indications 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.

Commissioner of the Met Police Mark Rowley
Commissioner of the Met Police Mark Rowley. Picture: Alamy

Responding to the IOPC's investigations, a spokesperson for the Met Police said: "David Carrick was responsible for the most appalling offences and we are truly sorry for the harm and suffering he caused his victims. He should never have been a police officer.

"We have acknowledged that serious flaws in our approach meant we did not spot his pattern of abusive behaviour and as a result, we missed opportunities to pursue him through the misconduct process. We deeply regret this.

"The Met wrote to the IOPC in January 2023 urging them to review our handling of all matters related to Carrick.

"The IOPC had previously determined that they would not review forces’ overall handling of cases unless evidence of misconduct on the part of individuals had already been identified.

"However given the seriousness of Carrick’s offending and the understandable degree of public concern it caused, we were anxious that this position was reconsidered.

"We welcome the IOPC’s subsequent decision to carry out that review. In addition to organisational failings we had already acknowledged, it has now identified conduct matters for eight officers and a member of police staff in relation to their handling of investigations in 2002, 2016, 2019 and 2021.

"Two of the officers are retired and one is serving in another force. The remainder are still serving in the Met.

"The IOPC will now investigate these matters independently and we will provide every assistance to them.

"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 as we work determinedly to rebuild trust and confidence in the Met.

"In addition to the IOPC investigation, we are also continuing to support the work of the independent inquiry chaired by Lady Elish Angiolini which, as part of its wider terms of reference, is examining the extent to which Carrick’s conduct and crimes were known and investigated at the time."

Read More: 'Well over' 500 Metropolitan Police officers on restricted duties and hundreds more suspended, Sir Mark Rowley reveals

The former Met Police officer was handed 36 life sentences after admitting a 17-year reign of terror against a dozen women.

Pleading guilty to 85 offences against dozens of women over a 17-year period, he is now regarded as one of the UK's most prolific sex offenders.

Carrick will serve a minimum 30 years in prison.