UK Police Chiefs Told to Check All Officers by End of March After Carrick Case

Police forces in England and Wales have been told they must complete checks on all their officers and staff by March 31, after a serving Metropolitan Police officer admitted to dozens of counts of rape and other offences.

The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) wrote to chief constables on Friday, telling them they must conduct the checks as soon as possible and should have identified all cases for further investigation by September.

The Home Office ordered the checks after David Carrick, a former Metropolitan Police officer, admitted 49 criminal charges including 24 counts of rape.

An undated police mugshot of David Carrick, a serving Metropolitan Police officer who admitted the last of 49 serious sexual offences at Southwark Crown Court in London on Jan. 16, 2023. (Hertfordshire Police)

Carrick, 48, who served alongside rapist and murderer Wayne Couzens—the killer of Sarah Everard—admitted to 49 counts of rape, false imprisonment, and indecent assault, relating to 12 women between 2003 and 2020.

He met women on dating apps or while out socially, using his job to reassure and then intimidate them. He kept some locked in a tiny cupboard for hours, beat them, and urinated on them.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak told the House of Commons on Wednesday, “The abuse of power is truly sickening, and our thoughts are with his victims.”

“The police must address the failings in this case, restore public confidence, and ensure the safety of women and girls,” he said.

“There will be no place to hide for those who use their position to intimidate women and girls, or for those who fail to act to reprimand and remove people who are unfit for office.”

Confidence Damaged

In his letter, NPCC Chairman Martin Hewitt said: “The confidence of women and girls in the police has been damaged further by the horrific and abhorrent details revealed in the David Carrick case. They deserve better, and they deserve to have absolute trust in any officer they may deal with in their time of need.

“Words will not rebuild confidence, only action and the public seeing the results of that action.

“Checks of all officers and staff will ensure we are turning over every stone in our efforts to rid policing of abusers and corrupt individuals. I know the dedicated, professional majority in policing will support this action.”

The NPCC said the final stage of the process will be to develop a new automated platform to carry out continuous national police database checks.

The Home Office also launched a review of the police disciplinary system to make sure officers who “are not fit to serve the public” and “fall short of the high standards expected of them” can be sacked.

More than 1,000 Metropolitan Police officers and staff who have previously been accused of domestic abuse or sexual offences are having their cases reviewed.

Epoch Times Photo
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Mark Rowley smiles during a visit from Britain’s King Charles III to thank Emergency Service workers at Lambeth HQ in London on Sept. 17, 2022. (Carl de Souza – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Rebuild Trust

Also on Friday, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley published his plan to improve standards and rebuild trust in the force.

Rowley, who took over from Dame Cressida Dick in September last year, said earlier this month that he had been building a “practical plan for turning things around” after a watchdog found that the force’s anti-corruption systems were not fit for purpose and a damning review of disciplinary procedures found officers and staff were getting away with misconduct and breaking the law.

He said in a statement: “This week we have condemned the appalling criminality of David Carrick and shared the missed opportunities over many years to have taken action. I know our communities need to see reform in the Met, on issues of standards and culture but also in how we do more to reduce crime.”

“The next two years are critical—from adopting new technologies and methods to achieving our goals and investing in our people. Those we serve, as well as our own people, rightly expect the highest standards too,” he added.

“I am determined to win back Londoners’ trust. We can succeed because of the dedicated, honest, often heroic, men and women who are the great majority of the Met. Our work has begun, but I must be candid. We cannot achieve the profound reforms needed quickly or without the ongoing help and support of wider policing, politicians, partner organisations and most of all, communities.”

In response to the Met’s plan, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “Every officer and member of staff at the Met has a part to play in making policing in London better, in rebuilding public trust and restoring the confidence of our communities, which is so vital to policing by consent.

“I have spoken to many police officers who feel just as disgusted and let down as I have by what’s been exposed recently, and who are desperate to play their part in raising standards and ensuring the bond between the police and the communities they serve is restored and strengthened to build a safer London for everyone.”

Khan said he “wholeheartedly” endorses Rowley’s “Turnaround Plan,” and said he will authorise funding for 500 new Police Community Support Officers to “build on the progress” in the force’s effort reducing violent crime.

Lily Zhou and PA Media contributed to this report.

Alexander Zhang

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