A serving officer in London’s Metropolitan Police has admitted to 49 offenses, including 24 counts of rape over an 18-year period, reigniting calls for urgent reform in the United Kingdom’s largest police force.
David Carrick appeared at Southwark Crown Court in the British capital Monday to plead guilty to four counts of rape, false imprisonment and indecent assault relating to a 40-year-old woman in 2003, the UK’s PA Media news agency reported.
At the Old Bailey criminal court in London last month, Carrick admitted to 43 charges against 11 other women, including 20 counts of rape, between March 2004 and September 2020, according to PA.
A series of recent scandals has shed light on what the UK police watchdog called a culture of misogyny and racism in London’s police service.
In September 2021, Metropolitan Police officer Wayne Couzens was sentenced to life in prison without parole for the abduction, rape and murder of Sarah Everard, a case that horrified the nation and sparked debate about violence against women.
The Metropolitan Police Service Commissioner Cressida Dick resigned from her post in 2022, after a damning review by the Independent Office for Police Conduct issued 15 recommendations “to change policing practice” in the country.
The UK’s Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said Carrick’s case is one of the “most shocking” it has ever seen.
“The scale of the degradation Carrick subjected his victims to is unlike anything I have encountered in my 34 years with the Crown Prosecution Service,” CPS Chief Crown Jaswant Narwal said.
“I commend every single woman who courageously shared their traumatic experience and enabled us to bring this case to court and see justice served,” Narwal continued while speaking outside Southwark Crown Court Monday.
The senior investigating officer in the case, Detective Chief Inspector Iain Moor, called Carrick’s crimes “truly shocking.”
“The police service is committed to tackling violence against women and girls in all its forms,” Moor said. “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.”
Assistant Commissioner for the Metropolitan Police Barbara Gray also apologized on behalf of the police force to all the victims.
Speaking to a reporter on Monday, Gray said that Carrick “should have been dismissed from the police service a long time ago.”
In a separate statement on Monday, she said: “We should have spotted his pattern of abusive behavior and because we didn’t, we missed opportunities to remove him from the organization. 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.”
“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,” she added.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said he is “absolutely sickened by the truly abhorrent offences” that Carrick committed.
“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,” Khan tweeted Monday.
Khan commented that work to reform the culture and standards of the Met has already started following an interim review and that a new, anonymous police complaints hotline and anti-corruption team has recently been established by Metropolitan Police Commissioner Mark Rowley.
“But more can and must be done,” added Khan. “I will continue to hold the Met to account as they work to implement the reforms needed.
“It’s vital that all victims of crime have confidence in our police, and we simply must do more to raise standards and empower police leaders to rid the Met and all other police services of those officers who are clearly unfit to serve,” the mayor continued.