David Carrick: Abuse cases have ‘shattered public trust’ in police forces, says Downing Street

David Carrick (Handout)
David Carrick (Handout)

The number of serving police officers being convicted of “appalling crimes” has “shattered public trust” in forces, Downing Street said on Monday.

It comes as Met PC David Carrick admitted a horrific campaign of abuse against women throughout his policing career, including 24 counts of rape.

The 48-year-old armed officer, nicknamed “Bastard Dave” by colleagues, helped guard politicians for more than a decade as a member of the Met’s Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command.

The Prime Minister's official spokesman said on Monday: “This is an appalling case...we have been clear, there is no place in our police forces for officers who fall so seriously short of the accepted standards.

“Police forces must root out these officers to restore the public's trust, which has been shattered by high profile events such as this.”

He added that the Home Office is “pushing for improvement” and had announced a review of police dismissals to ensure the system is more effective in removing officers who are “not fit to serve the public”.

The Standard revealed in November that more than 100 Met officers under investigation for suspected crimes including domestic abuse were working as normal and not on restricted duties.

The revelations that more than 400 officers are under investigation prompted fresh demands for the new Met Police Commissioner, Sir Mark Rowley, to sort the force’s “failed” misconduct system.

Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper said: “This is a truly shocking and appalling case – with the most devastating rapes, sexual and violent crimes committed against women by a serving police officer. It is a tribute to the bravery of his victims that this man has now been caught.

“But it is further evidence of appalling failures in the police vetting and misconduct processes, still not addressed by Government, that he was ever able to serve as a police officer.”

Assistant Commissioner Barbara Gray, the Met’s lead for Professionalism, apologised to Carrick’s victims.

She said: “Carrick is a prolific, serial sex offender who preyed on women over a period of many years, abusing his position as a police officer and committing the most horrific, degrading crimes.

“He has devastated women’s lives. He has had a devastating impact on the trust and confidence of women and girls that we are working so hard to earn. He has devastated colleagues.

“He used the fact he was a police officer to control and coerce his victims. We know they felt unable to come forward sooner because he told them they would not be believed.

“We should have spotted his pattern of abusive behaviour and because we didn’t, we missed opportunities to remove him from the organisation.

“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.”