Priti Patel calls for action after Met officer pleads guilty to rape

Met Police apologises over forces' David Carrick failure

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Bosses failed to stop David Carrick, despite being aware of nine incidents, including claims of rape, harassment and domestic violence. Carrick committed horrific crimes against 12 women after telling them: “I’m a police officer, you can trust me.”

And as he faces multiple life sentences, former home secretary Priti Patel called for urgent action to snare predatory officers who betray public trust.

She said: “This should be the moment where we say enough is enough. The institution of policing and the structures around it, in terms of accountability, have to change for women and girls to feel safe.” Ms Patel insists vital reform cannot just be left to chief constables. She said: “It can’t be down to individual chief constables to make subjective decisions on how such cases are treated.”

The Tory MP described the ­culture that has been allowed to develop in the Met as “shameful” and “disgraceful” and has called for legislation to help clean it up.

She added: “The whole system needs to change and we need to put something on a statutory footing. We can change our laws to make sure it happens.

“You can’t leave this with institutions where the culture has been one of the cover-ups.”

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak described the scale and nature of Carrick’s campaign of sex offending as “appalling”, while campaigners said it underlines that the force is an institution in crisis.

And, following a torrent of scandals, the exposure of his crimes is another shattering blow to public trust in the police.

It has shown up woeful vetting procedures, a staggering complacency among Scotland Yard’s top brass and a slipshod approach by professional standards departments. Met Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley admitted his force failed and apologised to the victims. He said: “This man abused women in the most disgusting manner. It is sickening.

“We’ve let women and girls down and we’ve let Londoners down. The women who suffered and survived this violence have been unimaginably brave and ­courageous in coming forward. I do understand this will lead to some women questioning whether they can trust the Met to keep them safe. We have failed. And I’m sorry.

“He should not have been a police officer.”

Carrick, 48, nicknamed “Dave the bastard” by fellow officers, was briefly a soldier before joining the police in 2001.

In 2009, he transferred to the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Unit which guards Downing Street, government ­buildings and embassies.

Before his prolific sex offending finally emerged, Carrick came to the attention of the Met and other forces nine times over the years but was never charged with any crimes.

He was subjected only twice to vetting procedures. He was cleared to join the force in 2001 despite being accused of burglary and making malicious communications involving a former partner.

Carrick was vetted again in 2017 and was once again given the all-clear. In July 2021, Carrick was accused of rape by a woman in Hertfordshire but she could not face a long, drawn-out investigation and there was no prosecution.

The Met’s response was to place Carrick on “restricted duties” but he was not suspended. Last month, Carrick admitted 43 serious offences involving 11 women at London’s Southwark Crown Court.

On Monday, he pleaded guilty to six further counts relating to a 12th victim at the same court. He has now confessed to 24 charges of rape against nine of the victims as well as a string of other charges.

They include false imprisonment and coercive behaviour. He will be sentenced next month.

Senior Met officers insist a man like Carrick would never be allowed to join the force today.

Sir Mark added: “We haven’t applied the same sense of ruthlessness to guarding our own integrity that we routinely apply to confronting criminals.

“We failed as investigators where we should have been more intrusive and joined the dots. Our ­mindset should have been more determined to root out such a misogynist. These failures are ­horrific examples of the systemic failures that concern me and were highlighted by Baroness Casey in her recent review.”

Baroness Casey said Carrick’s case should be the subject of a full inquiry and has written to Home Secretary Suella Braverman, saying: “We owe it to all of his victims that this work takes place.”

Andrea Simon, director of the End Violence Against Women Coalition condemned the police, saying: “This is an institution in crisis.”

Carrick, who has been suspended since his arrest in October 2021, will be sacked from the Met today after a misconduct hearing.

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