David Carrick’s rape victims consider legal action against Met Police
Victims of serial rapist David Carrick are considering legal action against the Metropolitan Police, saying they hold the force responsible for failing to stop two decades of horrific abuse.
The former armed officer was given 36 life sentences with a minimum term of over 30 years after admitting 49 offences against 12 women.
All Carrick’s crimes – dating back to 2003 – took place during his service in the Met, which repeatedly decided that there was “no case to answer” and kept him in post after receiving reports of domestic abuse.
Legal group the Centre for Women’s Justice said it was speaking to several of Carrick’s victims to “explore potential legal action” against Britain’s largest force.
Suella Braverman, the attorney general, has intervened and said on Tuesday night that the sentence was “too lenient” and would be reviewed.
One woman, who was repeatedly raped, said: “I feel that they are responsible for what happened to us.
“Yes, it was him who hurt us, but it was they who didn’t stop him in the first place, despite having many chances to do so. It was their job to vet him and to investigate him. Instead, they let him carry on and abuse so many more of us.”
The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said the failure to prosecute or discipline Carrick after multiple incidents “let this predator to keep hunting, by using the cover of the police”.
Another victim said: “Justice has prevailed, he has got the sentence he deserves. But now we need answers from the Metropolitan Police and we need to see real change.”
Passing sentence on Tuesday, Justice Cheema-Grubb said Carrick’s position gave him “exceptional powers to coerce and control” women, with Carrick telling victims he was a police officer to gain their trust and later using it to prevent them from reporting him.
“You behaved as if you were untouchable,” the judge told him. “You were bold and at times relentless, trusting that no victim would overcome her shame and fear to report you. For nearly two decades you were proved right.”
Carrick was allowed to remain in the force – even completing a 2005 domestic abuse course and being given a gun in 2009 – despite police recording nine incidents, because he was never prosecuted.
He started his campaign of abuse before joining, with the Met investigating him in 2000 for allegedly harassing and burgling a woman.
No charges were brought and when he was vetted as part of his application to join the same force the following year, he passed the checks and was allowed to become a constable.
Despite coming to the attention of police again in 2002, 2004, 2009, 2016, 2017, 2019 and 2021, none of the incidents resulted in prosecution and Scotland Yard repeatedly decided that he had “no case to answer” for disciplinary proceedings.
Months after Sarah Everard was murdered by another serving Met officer in March 2021, Carrick was finally arrested by Hertfordshire Police for raping one of his victims and placed on restricted duties.
But the investigation ended with no action being taken and in September 2021, the Metropolitan Police said it “determined that he had no case to answer in relation to any misconduct matters” and lifted all restrictions. Weeks later, he was arrested again and charged.
No disciplinary action has been taken against officers who repeatedly kept Carrick in his job, or colleagues who failed to raise concerns about his conduct, despite nicknaming him “b*****d Dave”.
The Centre for Women’s Justice has called for a statutory inquiry into police violence against women, with powers beyond the reviews already announced, to answer outstanding questions “fully and frankly”.
“The failure to bring him to justice earlier, left him free to rape, abuse and control many more women,” a spokesperson said.
“Moreover, the lack of accountability, including a failure to consider whether those officers who considered Carrick suitable to be promoted and continue in his role may be guilty of misconduct is an additional insult to these women.”
Rapist Metropolitan Police officer David Carrick sentenced to 36 life sentences
At a press conference the day before Carrick pleaded guilty, a senior Metropolitan Police officer was repeatedly asked whether the force was responsible for leaving him free to attack more women, but did not directly answer.
Assistant Commissioner Barbara Gray, who is responsible for anti-corruption, said an “escalating pattern” of abuse against women was not spotted because the incidents did not result in prosecution.
“David Carrick chose to be a sex offender, he chose to be a predator, he chose to be manipulative,” she added.
“Certainly I would not expect that man to be in policing today and we would not expect him to be able to join the police, given the offences that were linked to him before he even joined the Met.”
Speaking following the sentencing, commissioner Sir Mark Rowley acknowledged that Carrick should not have been a police officer and exploited his position “in the most disgusting way”.
He added: “We weren’t rigorous enough in our approach and as a result, we missed opportunities to identify the warning signs over decades. I want to again reiterate my apology on behalf of the Met. We are truly sorry.”
The force is reviewing the records of more than 1,000 serving officers and staff who are subject to past allegations of sexual offending or domestic abuse that were not prosecuted or the subject of misconduct hearings.
The home secretary asked police forces across England and Wales to conduct similar searches, which are expected to be complete by the end of March.
Suella Braverman said: “It is vital we uncover how he was able to wear the uniform for so long, and I welcome the Angiolini Inquiry’s investigation into David Carrick’s criminal behaviour and the decision-making around his vetting.”
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