Carrick conviction shows Met police’s ‘deeply rotten misogynistic culture’ | Metropolitan police

The scores of offences committed by the Metropolitan police firearms officer David Carrick expose “a deeply rotten misogynistic culture” within Britain’s largest police force, a leading campaigner has said.

The Metropolitan police were the focus of outrage, disbelief and sadness after the revelations that one of their armed officers who guarded parliament was a serial sex attacker.

The conviction of Carrick, who pleaded guilty to 85 offences contained in 49 charges, came after the Met was informed of eight complaints over 20 years about alleged abusive behaviour towards women, but took no action. This including failing to suspend him in July 2021, when Carrick was first arrested for a rape allegation, which was not proceeded with after the victim changed her mind about her willingness to testify.

Harriet Wistrich, a solicitor and director of the Centre for Women’s Justice, said: “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.

“His crimes, along with a significant number of other Met police officers, reveals the deeply rotten misogynistic culture that has been allowed to exist within the Met.

David Carrick
David Carrick. Photograph: Hertfordshire police/PA

“The early reports of rape/serious violence against Carrick that were NFA’d [no further actioned] illustrate the woeful inadequacies of policing of these crimes.

“The failure to suspend Carrick from duty or investigate him for misconduct following reports by women and the threats Carrick made that they would not be believed because he is a police officer precisely mirror issues we [have] identified.”

She said it was “truly shocking” that Carrick was not suspended following the report by a woman in July 2021 in the wake of the arrest and investigations into the Metropolitan police officer later convicted of murdering Sarah Everard.

Ruth Davison, the chief executive of Refuge, which supports victims of domestic violence, said police had made repeated promises to change, but not kept them: “The crimes that David Carrick is accused of committing are utterly abhorrent, and his ability to be appointed and continue to serve as a police officer, while multiple allegations against him had been received by the force, will terrify women and girls up and down the country.

“What happens next must change the culture of policing for good. A force which breeds a culture of violent misogyny is not a force which can even begin to protect women and girls.”

Labour’s home affairs spokesperson, Yvette Cooper, criticised the failure to suspend Carrick and accused the government of failing to tackle key problems blighting policing: “Everyone who demanded change will feel badly let down today.

“The Home Office is pushing for improvement and has recently announced a review of police dismissals to ensure the system is fair and effective at removing officers who are not fit to serve.”

Cooper added of the Carrick scandal: “It is further evidence of appalling failures in the police vetting and misconduct processes, still not addressed by government, that he was ever able to serve as a police officer.

“The next Labour government will introduce new national compulsory standards on vetting, checks and misconduct. We urgently need action to raise standards and restore confidence in the vital work the police do.”

The London mayor, Sadiq Khan, who is also the police and crime commissioner for London, said in a statement: “Londoners will be rightly shocked that this man was able to work for the Met for so long, and serious questions must be answered about how he was able to abuse his position as an officer in this horrendous manner.

“The work to reform the culture and standards of the Met has already started … But more can and must be done, including acting on the findings of the forthcoming [government ordered] Angiolini inquiry, and I will continue to hold the Met to account as they work to implement the reforms needed.”

Rishi Sunak’s official spokesman said: “This is an appalling case and the prime minister’s thoughts are with all of his victims. We have been clear: 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. Police forces must root out these officers to restore the public’s trust, which has been shattered by high-profile events such as this.

“The Home Office is pushing for improvement and has recently announced a review of police dismissals to ensure the system is fair and effective at removing officers who are not fit to serve.”

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