By Biodun Busari
A 48-year-old British Metropolitan Police armed officer who used his role to threaten his victims has confessed he engaged in dozens of rape and sexual offences against twelve women.
BBC reported on Monday that David Carrick who met some victims through dating websites pleaded guilty to 49 offences across twenty years.
The Met has apologised after it came to the attention of police over nine incidents, including rape allegations, between 2000 and 2021.
Reacting to the confession, Assistant Commissioner Barbara Gray, the Met’s lead for professionalism, said: “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 being able to continue to use his role as a police officer may have prolonged the suffering of his victims.
“We know they felt unable to come forward sooner because he told them they would not be believed.”
Carrick, who admitted 24 counts of rape, was suspended from duty when he was apprehended in October 2021.
His offences covered from 2003 to 2020 and most took place in Hertfordshire, where he lived.
Carrick, from Stevenage, would control what the women wore, what they ate, and where they slept and even stopped some of the women from speaking to their own children.
He was eventually stopped when one woman took the courage to report him. In October 2021, following publicity about disgraced Metropolitan Police officer PC Wayne Couzens, she contacted the police.
Jaswant Narwal, the chief crown prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service, said, “Carrick held a role where he was trusted with the responsibility of protecting the public, but yet over 17 years, in his private life, he did the exact opposite.
“This is a man who relentlessly degraded, belittled and sexually assaulted and raped women.
“As time went on, the severity of his offending intensified as he became emboldened, thinking he would get away with it.”
She said the “scale of the degradation Carrick subjected his victims to is unlike anything I’ve encountered in my 34 years with the Crown Prosecution Service.”
Carrick, who served with the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command, met some victims through online dating sites such as Tinder and Badoo and used his role as a police officer to gain their trust.
He admitted four counts of rape, false imprisonment and indecent assault relating to a 40-year-old woman in 2003 at Southwark Crown Court on Monday.
According to BBC, it was reported that Carrick already pleaded guilty to 43 charges, including 20 counts of rape, in December.
He admitted to raping nine women, some on multiple occasions spanning months or years, with many of those attacks involving violence that would have left them physically injured.
While speaking outside court, Detective Chief Inspector Iain Moor, from Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit, said, “The details of David Carrick’s crimes are truly shocking.
“I suspect many will be appalled and sickened by his actions, but I hope the victims and the public more widely are reassured that no one is above the law and the police service will relentlessly pursue those offenders who target women in this way.”
Harriet Wistrich, director of a campaign group the Centre for Women’s Justice, said, “We have known for some time that there has been a culture of impunity for such offending by police officers.
“Recent reports show a woefully deficient vetting and misconduct system and a largely unchallenged culture of misogyny in some sections of the Met.
“That Carrick could have not only become a police officer but remain a serving officer for so long whilst he perpetrated these horrific crimes against women, is terrifying.”
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said he was “absolutely sickened and appalled” by Carrick’s crimes.
He said, “serious questions must be answered about how he was able to abuse his position as an officer in this horrendous manner.”
In the wake of the murder of Sarah Everard by a serving Met officer, the force publicly declared its dedication to protecting women and instituted an “action plan” to try to regain trust.
But it has now admitted that its professional standards department made no attempt to check the full record of another officer accused of rape.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said it was “an appalling case” and that Rishi Sunak’s “thoughts are with all of [Carrick’s] victims.”
“There is no place in our police forces for officers who fall so seriously short of the acceptable standards of behaviour and are not fit to wear the uniform.”
David Carrick will be sentenced in February.
Sal Naseem, from the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), said no opportunities to stop Carrick earlier had been identified by police so far.
Two retired Met officers who dealt with a 2002 allegation of assault and harassment against Carrick may have committed misconduct, but as they cannot face misconduct proceedings, the IOPC decided it was not in the public interest to take further action.
Below are Carrick’s full list of offences:
24 counts of rape
nine counts of sexual assault
five counts of assault by penetration
three counts of coercive and controlling behaviour
three counts of false imprisonment
two counts of attempted rape
one count of attempted sexual assault by penetration
one count of causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent
one count of indecent assault