The Metropolitan Police has apologised to the victims of sacked PC David Carrick, as they wait to hear how one of the country’s most prolific sex offenders will be punished at a two-day sentencing hearing.
Assistant Commissioner Barbara Gray has said she is “truly sorry” after the force let down the victims of Carrick, adding that “he should not have been a police officer.”
Carrick, 48, served as a Met officer for 20 years and was sacked from the force for gross misconduct after admitting 49 criminal charges – including 24 counts of rape over an 18-year period.
His sentencing hearing begins on Monday at London’s Southwark Crown Court.
‘We let them down’
Apologising to Carrick’s victims, Assistant Commissioner Gray said the Met has “let them down”.
She said the force had “failed to identify a man in the ranks of the Metropolitan Police Service who carried out the most awful offences”.
She added Carrick “should not have been a police officer”.
She also warned: “More detail will be provided about the cruel and abusive nature of his crimes and about the impact they have had on the tremendously brave women who came forward to provide evidence against him.”
Carrick has admitted to “the most appalling offences against women” and his sentencing needs to be about his victims as “they truly deserve to have their voices heard and see justice done”, the assistant commissioner said.
She added that the Met is “determined to root out those who corrupt our integrity”.
The attention on the Met after Carrick’s crimes came to light has seen the force speak out about its “genuine and urgent commitment to address systemic failings”, she added.
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Last month, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley said that two or three police officers are expected to appear in court each week to face criminal charges in the coming months as the scandal-hit force attempts to reform.
He told the London Assembly Police and Crime Committee that more “painful stories” will emerge as moves progress to remove hundreds of corrupt officers who are thought to be serving.
A new Met Police integrity hotline has received “tens of calls” a week, leading to new investigations, Sir Mark said, a third of which relate to other forces.
In the wake of Carrick’s conviction, around 1,000 previous cases involving Met officers and staff who were accused of sexual offences or domestic violence are being reviewed to make sure they were handled correctly.
This is expected to be completed by the end of March.
Anti-corruption and abuse command ‘proactively investigating’
A new anti-corruption and abuse command is also proactively investigating and identifying officers and staff who abuse their positions of trust whether on duty or off duty, in person or online, the Met says.
A thorough audit of national police systems, specifically the Police National Computer and Police National Database, is also being undertaken to seek out intelligence and information about officers and staff that may not be known by the organisation.
All closed cases from the past decade where officers and staff were reported to the Directorate of Professional Standards for involvement in incidents – ranging from using inappropriate language in the workplace to allegations of the most serious sexual offending – are being reviewed.
The Met said it expects most cases should have been dealt with appropriately but it knows it has previously failed to identify patterns of behaviour and consider prior offending or incidents.