MPS condemns officer guilty of relentless campaign of sexually and mentally abusing women

The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has condemned the “appalling criminal actions” of a serving officer who degraded, raped and sexually assaulted multiple women.

Jan 17, 2023
By Paul Jacques
David Carrick

David Carrick appeared at Southwark Crown Court on Monday (January 16) and pleaded guilty to false imprisonment, indecent assault and four counts of rape.

At a previous hearing at the Old Bailey in December, the 47-year-old officer had pleaded guilty to 43 offences relating to 11 victims, 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, February 6.

Assistant Commissioner Barbara Gray, the MPS’s lead for professionalism, said they should have spotted his pattern of abusive behaviour and “missed opportunities” to remove him from the force.

She 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.”

Ms Gray added: “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 MPS said he was “immediately suspended” and it 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 MPS’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, said the MPS, adding: “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.”

Ms Gray said: “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 focused.

“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.”

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said an investigation into Carrick began in October 2021 when a woman reported him to police. Since then, a further 12 women have come forward and reported being assaulted by him.

“The case spans a 17-year-period with offences dating from 2003 to 2020,” said the CPS. “Some of the victims were in relationships with Carrick, relentlessly manipulated, financially cut off and isolated from their friends as well as repeatedly sexually assaulted and raped. Others were women he met socially but still degraded and sexually abused.”

The 49 charges he has pleaded guilty to include some charges which cover multiple offences, meaning Carrick has admitted to no less than 71 instances of serious sexual offending, said the CPS.

In building the case, the CPS said the issue of consent “has been fundamental”. During interviews with the police, Carrick said the offences were consensual or that they had not happened at all.

“In this case, as with many other rape and serious sexual assault cases, the evidence may have appeared limited,” said the CPS.

“However, it was the testimonies of the women that provided the key evidence against Carrick as they were strong, authentic and consistent, as more and more victims came forward.”

The CPS said the striking similarities in the victim accounts built a picture of a man who had “manipulated them, assaulting them physically, sexually and also mentally”.

It added: “Recognising the impact of his damaging psychological offending, which involved altering the victims’ daily routines, isolating them, controlling what they wore and when they slept, the CPS also pursued coercive and controlling behaviour charges.

“This case has involved reviewing 300 witness statements and around 3,000 to 4,000 pages of evidence, which has resulted in Carrick pleading guilty to numerous charges including 24 counts of rape, three counts of coercive and controlling behaviour and nine counts of sexual assault.”

Shilpa Shah, the Senior Crown Prosecutor in the case, said: “With a vast number of charges for rape and serious sexual assault, as well as victims spanning a 17-year-period, this is one of the most significant cases the Crown Prosecution Service has dealt with.

“It was harrowing seeing how victims were relentlessly manipulated; they were financially cut off and isolated from their friends and family and repeatedly raped and sexually assaulted. Carrick took so much from them both physically and mentally.

“It didn’t matter to Carrick who the victim was – a new girlfriend, a partner, a friend or a stranger – he would still abuse them.”

“Although the names of the women who showed tremendous courage in overcoming this manipulation to report these abhorrent crimes won’t ever be made public, they need to be commended, and I want to thank them for coming forward and providing the evidence we needed to secure today’s conviction and end Carrick’s offending.”

Hertfordshire Constabulary’s senior investigating officer, Detective Chief Inspector Iain Moor, said “an intensive, thorough and fast-moving investigation” had been led by detectives from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit (BCH MCU).

After Carrick’s arrest by Hertfordshire officers in October 2021 following a report of rape, the force said subsequent media interest in the case saw more victims came forward, and while being supported by specialist officers from the BCH MCU, reported further offences against him.

“The weight of their evidence was extremely powerful,” said the constabulary.

Det Chief Insp Moor said: “I would like to commend all of the victims for their bravery in coming forward and would like to thank them for their courage in being prepared to take the stand to see justice served, if the case had gone to trial.

“They continue to be supported by specially trained officers and staff, and I hope this case will give anyone who has been a victim of sexual assault or rape in the past, and for whatever reason has not reported it, the courage to come forward.

“I would also like to commend my team who have worked incredibly hard to bring Carrick to justice. The police service is committed to tackling violence against women and girls in all its forms and I hope our response in this case serves to reassure victims of our commitment to them.”

Det Chief Insp Moor added: “At no stage did Carrick give any consideration to the impact his brutal actions might have on his victims, and now he is facing a significant term in jail and being placed on the sex offender’s register.

“The details of David Carrick’s crimes are truly shocking, and I suspect many will be appalled and sickened by his actions, but I hope his victims, and the public more widely, are reassured that no-one is above the law and that the police service will relentlessly pursue those offenders who target women in this way.”

National Police Chiefs’ Council chair Martin Hewitt said: “I am ashamed and disgusted that an individual who swore an oath to protect the public has committed such horrific crimes. It is a very dark day for policing, but I commend the bravery of all the victims, who found the courage to speak out and ensure that David Carrick was brought to justice.

“This is an important moment to reiterate to the public and everyone in policing, if you have any concerns about the behaviour of a serving police officer or staff member, however small, share them. We want to hear any concerns or information that will help us.

“There is extensive action taking place across policing to root out corrupt or criminal individuals, including proactive investigations, changes to vetting and misconduct processes.”

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said he was “absolutely sickened by the truly abhorrent offences that Carrick has committed”.

He added: “Serious questions must be answered about how he was able to abuse his position as an officer.”

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 MPS said it has invested millions of pounds and brought in more than 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 more than 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 could not be proven and were not subject of misconduct hearings, are subject to an ongoing review, said the force.

In addition, 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,” said the MPS.

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.”

The force said a thorough and complex investigation was carried out by Hertfordshire Constabulary, culminating in the guilty pleas entered at court, and MPS 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, which will conclude with a hearing to be held in his absence on Tuesday, January 17,” said the MPS.

Carrick joined the MPS 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 MPS 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.

“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,” said the MPS.

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 and 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.

In 2002, 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), said the MPS.

In 2004, 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 in 2009. No criminal allegations were made and he was not arrested. Records held by the constabulary in relation to this incident suggest MPS supervisors were informed at the time, however, no record of this has been found on MPS systems as it does not appear a formal referral to the Met was made.

In 2016, Carrick was initially a suspect in a Hampshire Constabulary 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 in 2017 having been ejected from a nightclub in Reading for being drunk,” said the MPS. “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.”

In 2019, 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 MPS 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,” said the MPS.

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 MPS 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,” said the force.

“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 MPS 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,” sad the force.

“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, sad the MPS.

“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,” he force added.

“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.”

In total, Carrick pleaded guilty to:

  • 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; and
  • One count of indecent assault;

He pleaded not guilty to one count of possession of an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence and one count of rape.

“Carrick was charged with offences which related to 13 women,” sad the CPS. “After careful consideration the decision was reached to accept his not guilty plea in relation to one of the women.”

The CPS authorised Hertfordshire Constabulary to charge Carrick with a single count of rape on October 3, 2021. He was charged with 13 additional offences on November 24, 2021, some of which have since been split into separate counts (19). He was charged with nine additional offences on January 10, 2022, 12 offences on March 17, 2022, and three offences on May 9, 2022. On November 24, 2022, he was charged with a further nine offences, which later was later combined into seven offences.

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