Met condemns officer guilty of most serious sexual offences
The Met today condemns the appalling criminal actions of a serving officer after he pleaded guilty to multiple rapes and other serious sexual offences.
David Carrick appeared at Southwark Crown Court today (Monday, 16 January) and entered guilty pleas to false imprisonment, indecent assault and four counts of rape. At a previous hearing at the Old Bailey on Tuesday, 13 December he pleaded guilty to 43 offences including 20 counts of rape, and further counts of controlling and coercive behaviour and sexual assault.
He was remanded in custody and will be sentenced at a hearing to take place at Southwark Crown Court beginning on Monday, 6 February.
Assistant Commissioner Barbara Gray, the Met’s lead for Professionalism, said: “On behalf of the Metropolitan Police, I want to apologise to the women who have suffered at the hands of David Carrick.
“I commend their outstanding bravery in coming forward and reporting the horrific crimes they were victims of.
“Carrick is a prolific, serial sex offender who preyed on women over a period of many years, abusing his position as a police officer and committing the most horrific, degrading crimes.
“He has devastated women’s lives. He has had a devastating impact on the trust and confidence of women and girls that we are working so hard to earn. He has devastated colleagues.
“He used the fact he was a police officer to control and coerce his victims. We know they felt unable to come forward sooner because he told them they would not be believed.
“We should have spotted his pattern of abusive behaviour and because we didn’t, we missed opportunities to remove him from the organisation.
“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.
“I would also like to recognise the work of the Hertfordshire Constabulary officers whose thorough investigation has meant Carrick’s victims have been spared the further ordeal of a trial.”
After Carrick was charged with rape in October 2021, the Met began a thorough review of his service, his conduct and complaints record, any occasions on which he had come to the notice of the police and his vetting.
It was established that he was on police systems in relation to a number of off duty incidents both before and after his employment as a police officer. These incidents were in the Met’s force area and in those of other forces.
With the exception of his arrest in October 2021, none of these incidents resulted in any criminal sanction at the time.
However, when the overall case history is examined now in detail, it reveals a pattern of behaviour that should have raised concerns regardless of the outcome of individual incidents.
AC Gray added: “The duration and nature of Carrick’s offending is unprecedented in policing. But regrettably he is not the only Met officer to have been charged with serious sexual offences in the recent past.
“Our work to identify and rid the Met of corrupt officers is determined and focussed.
“As the Commissioner has said, we will continue to be relentless in our pursuit of those who are engaged in corrupt or criminal behaviour using all the available tactics and techniques at our disposal.”
In response to the recent report by His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services and the interim findings of the Baroness Casey review, the Met has invested millions of pounds and brought in over 400 additional officers and staff to identify and investigate offenders within the police service.
A dedicated Domestic Abuse and Sexual Offending investigation team has been set up with over 50 experienced investigators targeting any officer or staff member who may be engaged in domestic abuse or sexual offences.
All current officers and staff who have previously been the subject of allegations of sexual offending or domestic abuse, where allegations couldn’t be proven and were not subject of misconduct hearings, are subject to an ongoing review.
A new Anti-Corruption and Abuse Command is proactively investigating and identifying officers and staff who abuse their positions of trust whether on duty or off duty, in person or online.
There has been significant investment in intelligence capabilities and in the skills of specialist investigators.
A thorough audit of national police databases, to identify intelligence and information about officers and staff that may not be known by the organisation, is under way.
An internal appeal is asking Met officers and staff to report corruption and abuse and for the first time in policing, an anti-corruption and abuse hotline has been launched, in partnership with Crimestoppers, where the public can anonymously report Met officers and staff who abuse their positions of power and trust.
Further information about David Carrick:
Carrick was arrested in October 2021 and was immediately suspended.
A thorough and complex investigation was carried out by Hertfordshire Constabulary, culminating in the guilty pleas entered at court. Met officers have provided every possible assistance and cooperation to the investigation throughout.
As soon as Carrick entered his first guilty pleas, his pay was stopped and the accelerated misconduct process was initiated.
At an Accelerated Misconduct Hearing held in his absence on Tuesday, 17 January, he was dismissed without notice.
After Carrick was charged, a thorough review was carried out covering his career history, any complaints received during his service, occasions that he came to the notice of police and his vetting.
Carrick joined the Met in 2001. He initially worked as a response officer in Merton and Barnet. In 2009 he transferred to what is now the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command where he remained until his arrest and suspension in October 2021.
He had no prior service with any other police force.
Carrick was the subject of five complaints from members of the public during his Met service. They were all received between 2002 and 2008 and none were of a sexual nature.
Two complaints alleged that Carrick had been rude in his manner towards members of the public. These were investigated and dealt with by management action locally.
Three further complaints, relating to incivility and use of force, were received but subsequently withdrawn or dismissed.
Off duty matters:
We identified that Carrick had come to the attention of the Met and other forces on nine* occasions prior to October 2021 but that on none of those occasions had he been charged with a criminal offence.
Prior to the start of his police service, he was a suspect in two offences involving the same female victim. One involved an allegation of malicious communications and the second an allegation of burglary.
The victim was a former partner. Carrick had refused to accept the end of their relationship.
He was not arrested and no further action was taken in relation to either allegation.
*The above two allegations are counted separately as they were reported at different times within the same year.
Carrick was accused of harassment and assault against a former partner. He was not arrested and no further action was taken in relation to the criminal investigation.
This was after the start of his service as a police officer, but the matter was not referred to the Directorate of Professional Standards. Information about this matter and our review of it has been shared with the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).
Carrick was involved in a domestic incident. No criminal allegations were made, he was not arrested. The matter was not referred to the Directorate of Professional Standards as there was no criminal allegation.
Hertfordshire Constabulary officers responded to a third party report of a domestic incident involving Carrick. No criminal allegations were made and he was not arrested. Records held by Hertfordshire in relation to this incident suggest Met supervisors were informed at the time however no record of this has been found on Met systems. It doesn’t appear a formal referral to the Met was made.
Carrick was initially a suspect in a Hampshire Police investigation following an allegation of harassment. He was not arrested and the investigation was later closed.
We understand that Carrick was spoken to by Thames Valley Police officers having been ejected from a nightclub in Reading for being drunk. This information has been provided by a third party and there is no record of the incident on police systems. It is understood Carrick was not arrested and the matter was not referred to the Met.
It was alleged that Carrick had assaulted a woman during a domestic incident dealt with by Hertfordshire Constabulary officers, specifically that he grabbed her by the neck.
No further action was taken. The matter was referred to the Met and Carrick was given words of advice in relation to informing his chain of command about off duty incidents.
Following the decision to take no further action in relation to the criminal allegation, it was determined he had no case to answer in relation to misconduct. Information about this matter and our review of it has been shared with the IOPC.
In July 2021, Carrick was arrested by Hertfordshire Constabulary following an allegation of rape. The victim ultimately decided not to proceed and in August it was decided that no further action would be taken. The victim was later spoken to again as part of the current investigation and the offences she disclosed are among those Carrick has pleaded guilty to at court.
The 2021 matter was referred to the Met at the time and Carrick was placed on restricted duties.
When the criminal allegation was not proceeded with, it was determined that he had no case to answer in relation to any misconduct matters and in September the restrictions were lifted albeit Carrick never returned to full duties. Information about this matter and our review of it has been shared with the IOPC.
Were these incidents to have occurred today, we are more confident that they would have been identified as forming a pattern of behaviour requiring further investigation even in the event that individual allegations had been withdrawn.
Cases where no further action is taken in relation to criminal allegations are now more likely to be further interrogated to identify any underlying concerns.
We have a dedicated team of officers who make up the Domestic Abuse and Sexual Offences Unit in our Directorate of Professional Standards who are taking allegations forward, supporting victims and ensuring we build evidence against officers where we believe they have a case to answer.
Carrick was vetted on joining the Met in 2001 and again in 2017. On both occasions his vetting was successful, but we know the vetting requirements (the types of checks undertaken) were not as robust for either of these clearances as they are now.
He should have been re-vetted after ten years of service. Delays in re-vetting of officers have previously been identified as an area that the Met needs to improve and significant improvements have already been made.
The Met’s approach to vetting has changed significantly in recent years and is now far more robust. We are confident that someone applying to join the Met today with the same pre-employment history would not receive vetting clearance.
A review of Carrick’s case has also determined that were he to have been re-vetted following his arrest in 2021 according to the processes in place today, he would not have received vetting clearance.
It is now the case that if an officer or staff member is arrested or is being investigated for a serious offence, consideration is given to a full review of that individual’s circumstances including the possibility that re-vetting would be required.
This is a change from the approach that was in place in 2021 when such an arrest did not always result in consideration of a vetting review.
Vetting is one of the focuses of ongoing reviews and any learning identified in this case will be fed into those pieces of work.