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LONDON – A serving officer with London Police has been sacked on Tuesday after being found guilty of 24 counts of rape, making him one of the most prolific sex offenders in the country.
For nearly two decades, David Carrick, 48, used his position as a law enforcement officer in London’s elite Metropolitan Police to attract, coerce and sexually abuse women, the Met said in a statement.
The case has alarmed the UK, where memories of the kidnapping and murder of Sarah Everard – a young woman going home in south London – from police officer Wayne Couzens during the pandemic is still fresh.
“We failed. I’m sorry. He shouldn’t have become a police officer,” Mark Rowley, Metropolitan Police Commissioner said, issuing an apology to all victims of Carrick. “This man has abused women in the most disgusting way, it’s disgusting.”
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Rowley hailed the women, who came forward as “unbelievably brave” after Carrick pleaded guilty to multiple counts of rape, indecent assault and false imprisonment in a London court on Monday.
He will receive his sentence on February 6, the Met said.
Though he worked as a Met police officer from 2001, including stints in parliamentary and diplomatic protection, it wasn’t until October 2021 that alarm bells went off after Carrick was charged with rape.
That’s when the Met police began “a thorough review of its service,” which revealed a “pattern of behavior that should be a cause for concern,” she admitted in her statement.
“He used the fact that he was a police officer to control and coerce his victims,” Deputy Commissioner Barbara Gray said. “We should have recognized his pattern of abusive behavior and by not doing so we missed opportunities to remove him from the organization. We’re really sorry.”
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Carrick was vetted when he joined the Met in 2001 and again in 2017 – on both occasions his vetting passed.
Gray called Garrick a “prolific serial sex offender” who had exploited women for many years. “He destroyed women’s lives. … He devastated colleagues,” she added. “Unfortunately, he’s not the only Met officer who has been charged with serious sex offenses in recent years.”
Public anger is mounting that Carrick was not “suspended” from his job until October 2021 and was not fired immediately. His salary was cut, police found, but he remained an employee until Tuesday.
A Met Police spokesman, Chris Humphreys, told the Washington Post that criminal proceedings must reach a guilty plea or sentencing stage before a misconduct trial can be completed and employment terminated, which he finds “preposterous” to outside viewers.
However, he added that the force would “review the details of any allegations of domestic violence or sex crimes over the past 10 years” involving a Met official or staffer.
It is estimated that about 1,633 cases are being reviewed, involving more than 1,000 officers and staff.
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Rowley, the Met commissioner, also vowed his force would “reform quickly” and strengthen its national vetting procedures to root out “problematic officers.”
The Met has more than 43,000 officers and staff and is the UK’s largest police service, funding 25 per cent of the total police budget for England and Wales and responsible for security in much of the capital.
In recent years it has been heavily criticized for a series of failings, including the killing of Everard and heavy-handed oversight of a vigil that followed, allegations of institutional racism and the delay in investigating the “Partygate” scandal that ousted then-Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s administration and the resignation of her former boss Cressida Dick last year amid scandals and public pressure.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has called Carrick’s offense “appalling”.
“As work continues to reform the Met’s culture and standards, questions need to be answered as to why he continued to work for the Met,” he said tweeted. “It is vital that all victims of crime have confidence in our police force.”
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A spokesman for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak called on police forces across the country to “root out these officers to restore public confidence that has been shaken by high-profile events like this.”
However, women’s rights groups across the country have said on social media that Carrick’s conviction and release comes “decades too late” for those he abused. others have questioned: “Who monitors the police? Feminine trust and confidence is broken.”