The head of the Metropolitan police has said some serving officers need to be identified and removed as he deals with the fierce fallout of the conviction of serial rapist David Carrick.
Carrick, an elite Metropolitan police officer, waged a campaign of terror and humiliation against women for two decades, committing 48 rapes to become one of the worst sex offenders in modern history. The process of sacking him from the force starts today.
As details of Carrick’s convictions were revealed on Monday, it emerged a total of 1,633 cases of alleged sexual offences or domestic violence involving 1,071 officers and other staff were being reviewed from the last 10 years to make sure the appropriate decisions were made.
The Met commissioner, Sir Mark Rowley, who assumed office in September, on Tuesday admitted the force has not dealt with its own integrity with “the ruthlessness and clarity” that it deals with criminals.
Rowley told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “It’s not a good situation, that’s why we’re reviewing it. I came back to policing four months ago because I’m passionate about policing. Most of our men and women are great people but we have not been tough enough at guarding our own integrity.
“We haven’t dealt with these issues, day in and day out for years, with the ruthlessness and clarity that we deal with criminals. And that’s what we’re getting on top of.”
There were some officers serving in the Met who needed to be identified and removed from the force, he admitted.
Rowley was asked if he could guarantee that a woman visiting a police station to report a sexual offence would not meet a police officer whose past behaviour was now under review, or who was tolerating similar behaviour in their department.
“I can’t, I’m not going to make a promise that I can’t stick to,” he said. “I’m going to put in place ruthless systems to squeeze out those who shouldn’t be with us.
“Most of our officers are fantastic, the people who specialised in this area are great and they have the skills. But do I have some officers who shouldn’t be in the Met that I’ve got to identify and get rid of? Yes I do, and I’m completely frank about that.”
Appearing on broadcast media for the UK government on Tuesday, education secretary, Gillian Keegan, said the police had “some work to do” in restoring trust.
Asked on Times Radio if the government could say that women could trust the police, she said: “It’s very important that we do trust the police. There’s no place in our police force for officers who fall seriously short of the standards required. It’s clear that action needs to be taken because it’s fundamental that we can trust our police.”
On Monday, Carrick pleaded guilty to the remaining charges against him at Southwark crown court in London, bringing a total of 49 charges covering 85 serious offences.
The Met has admitted errors in failing to spot Carrick’s escalating danger during his 20 years of service. Britain’s biggest police force was told about nine incidents from 2000 to 2021, including eight alleged attacks or clashes Carrick had with women before the arrest that led to his convictions.
No action was taken, with the women either refusing to formally complain or withdrawing their cooperation from the police investigation.
Alarm bells also failed to ring within the force, which promoted Carrick in 2009 from patrolling the streets to being a member of an elite armed unit, the parliamentary and diplomatic protection command, guarding embassies, Downing Street and the Houses of Parliament.