A serving officer with London’s Metropolitan Police has admitted 49 offences, including 24 counts of rape over an 18-year period, reigniting calls for urgent reform of the UK’s largest police force.
David Carrick appeared at Southwark Crown Court in the British capital on Monday to plead guilty to four counts of rape, forcible confinement and indecent assault of a 40-year-old woman in 2003, the agency reported. British press PA Media.
At the Old Bailey Criminal Court in London last month, Carrick admitted 43 charges against 11 other women, including 20 counts of rape, between March 2004 and September 2020, according to PA.
A series of recent scandals have brought to light what Britain’s police watchdog has called a culture of misogyny and racism in London’s police service.
In September 2021, Metropolitan Police officer Wayne Couzens was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the kidnapping, rape and murder of Sarah Everard, a case that horrified the nation and sparked outrage. debate on violence against women.
Metropolitan Police Service Commissioner Cressida Dick resigned from her post in 2022, after a damning review by the Independent Office for Police Conduct issued 15 recommendations ‘to change policing practices’ in the country.
London’s Metropolitan Police are currently investigating as many as 1,000 sex offenses and domestic violence complaints involving around 800 of their officers, Force Commissioner Mark Rowley admitted on Monday.
“That’s 1,000 cases to review. Some of it won’t be cause for concern ultimately when we look at it, because it will be an argument heard from neighbors where surveys show there’s no need to worry,” Rowley said in an interview with British media.
“But in there, I’m sad to say, there will be instances where in the past we should have been more assertive and sought to expel officers and we didn’t.”
“We will turn over all these stones, we will come to the right conclusions and we will be ruthless in rooting out those who corrupt our integrity. You have my absolute assurance on this,” he said.
The UK’s Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has called Carrick’s case one of the “most shocking” cases ever.
“The extent of the degradation to which Carrick has subjected his victims is unlike anything I have encountered in my 34 years in the service of Crown prosecutions,” said CPS Chief Prosecutor Jaswant Narwal.
“I commend every woman who bravely shared her traumatic experience and enabled us to take this case to court and see justice done,” Narwal continued during a speech at Southwark Crown Court on Monday.
The lead investigator on the case, Chief Detective Inspector Iain Moor, called Carrick’s crimes “truly shocking”.
“The police service is committed to addressing violence against women and girls in all its forms,” Moor said, adding “no one is above the law.”
Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Barbara Gray also issued an apology on behalf of the police to all of the victims.
Gray said Monday that Carrick “should have been fired from the police department a long time ago.”
She later added, “We should have spotted his pattern of abusive behavior and because we didn’t, we missed opportunities to remove him from the organization. We are truly sorry that Carrick was able to continue to use his role as a police officer to prolong the suffering of his victims. »
“The length and nature of Carrick’s offenses are unprecedented in policing. But unfortunately he is not the only Met officer to have been charged with serious sexual offenses in the recent past,” she said.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: ‘Londonians will be rightly shocked that this man was able to work for the Met for so long and serious questions need to be answered about how he was able to abuse his position. to officiate in this horrible way.”
Khan commented that work to reform the Met’s culture and standards has already begun following an interim review and that a new anonymous police complaints hotline and anti-corruption team have recently created by Metropolitan Police Commissioner Mark Rowley.
“But more can and should be done,” Khan added on Twitter. “It is vital that all victims of crime have confidence in our police, and we simply need to do more to raise the standards and empower police chiefs to rid the Met and all other police services of officers who are clearly unfit to serve.”
Women’s rights organizations have called for an investigation into the Met following the Carrick case.
Refuge, a UK charity specializing in domestic abuse, called Carrick’s crimes “utterly heinous”.
“When a man who has been charged with 49 offences, including 24 rape charges, is a serving police officer, how can women and girls be – or feel – safe,” Refuge tweeted Monday.
UK organization End Violence Against Women also tweeted: “This is an institution in crisis. The fact that Carrick’s egregious pattern of behavior was known to the Met and that they failed to act speaks louder than their empty promises to women.
“Solidarity with the victims and all those who feel the weight of the traumatic details reported,” he added.
The UK Women’s Equality Party tweeted: “The Met have been aware of the allegations for TWENTY years. They did nothing because a serial rapist abused his power. They are accomplices. Misogyny will never be removed from the police without a legal national investigation.
The Fawcett Society, which campaigns for gender equality and women’s rights, said on Twitter: “Any act of sexual violence is a disgrace. But it’s especially damaging when, again, these crimes were perpetrated by someone who has additional responsibilities to keep the public safe.