Metropolitan Police officer David Carrick’s unmasking as a serial sexual predator have plunged the force into a fresh crisis, after it emerged he was cleared to return to work just weeks after first being accused of rape.
Carrick was arrested in July 2021, at a time when Scotland Yard was mired in scandal and facing huge pressure over its culture, particularly when handling allegations of sexual abuse and crimes against women.
Embattled former Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick had publicly insisted that her force was determined to root out rogue officers and reform the force, after a series of damaging scandals.
But astonishingly, Carrick was not suspended or subjected to a fresh round of vetting as a result of the July 2021 rape allegation.
He was removed from frontline duties but by September, when the rape investigation by Herts Police had been halted, the Met cleared him to return to duty with the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command.
Carrick never made it back on duty, as he faced a second rape arrest and the true extent of his crimes was finally revealed.
Carrick has now admitted a slew of other horrific sexual offences, confirming his status as one of Britain’s worst ever rapists.
It can now be revealed that Carrick was involved in nine separate police investigations across two decades, including incidents where he was a suspect in crimes against women. But he never faced a misconduct hearing or disruption to his career in policing.
He passed vetting in 2001 despite a recent brush with the law, when he had faced burglary and malicious communications allegations after refusing to accept the end of a relationship with a woman.
Just a year into his Met career and still on probation Carrick was accused of violent abuse by a second woman. When the criminal case was dropped, the Met’s professional standards unit were not called in – at a time before Carrick had committed any of the rapes and sexual offences that he has now admitted.
In 2009 and 2019, news of Carrick being investigated by Herts Police was passed to the Met but he again dodged misconduct proceedings.
Carrick was openly known to colleagues as “The Bastard”, for his cruel and mean behaviour, and had faced five official complaints from members of the public during his policing career, the Met said.
On two occasions, he was accused of being rude in complaints which were “dealt with by management locally”, the force said, while three further complaints of “incivility and use of force” were either withdrawn or dismissed.
Carrick was promoted to serve in the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command in 2009, and successfully completed a much-delayed second round of vetting in 2017.
Here is a chronology of the times Carrick faced police investigation:
2000 – Carrick was a suspect in two Met Police criminal investigations involving a former partner, involving allegations of malicious communications and burglary. Carrick had “refused to accept the end of their relationship”, said the Met. “He was not arrested and no further action was taken in relation to either allegations”.
2002 – Carrick fell under suspicion again, during his two-year probationary period, when he was accused of harassment and assault against a former partner. The case was ultimately dropped and not referred to the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards. The Met has now passed on information about this decision to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).
2004 – The Met said Carrick was on the receiving end of a third Met investigation in 2004 over a “domestic incident”, but he was not arrested or charged with any offence.
2009 – Hertfordshire Police officers were called out after Carrick was accused of domestic abuse against a partner. No further action was taken but details of the incident were passed on to Carrick’s supervisors in the Met. However, Scotland Yard said no records have been found to indicate whether action was taken.
2016 – Carrick was a suspect in a Hampshire Police investigation, the Met said, over an allegation of harassment against a woman. He was not arrested, and the investigation was closed.
2017 – Carrick was “spoken to” by Thames Valley Police after being thrown out of a nightclub in Reading for being drunk. However the incident was not recorded on police systems and details were not passed on to the Met.
2019 – Carrick was accused of grabbing a woman around the neck in a “domestic incident”. After a criminal probe by Herts Police was dropped, the incident was passed on to the Met and Carrick was given “words of advice” about telling his policing superiors about off-duty incidents. The IOPC has been passed information about the decision not to bring misconduct proceedings against Carrick.
2021 – Carrick was arrested by Herts Police on suspicion of rape, but the case was dropped when the victim said she did not want to co-operate with the investigation. The officer was placed on restricted duties at the Met and removed from roles involving members of the public after his arrest, but was not suspended.
In September 2021, after the case against had been dropped and Carrick told he would not face misconduct proceedings, he was re-instated to his policing role. However, he never again took up his post after being arrested for a further rape allegation and then accused of a catalogue of crimes.
“The man should not have been in the police, there’s no doubt about that”, said Assistant Commissioner Barbara Gray, who is in charge of anti-corruption in the Met.
“His pattern of offending should have been identified.”
A shake-up of the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command is already underway, and new Met Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley has committed to reforming the whole of the force.
“This has been a huge step back for us”, said Assistant Commissioner Gray, of the Carrick case. “I hope the fact these victims stepped forward and led to multiple convictions will give others confidence.
“I can assure you with total integrity that the emphasis on high standards and rooting out corrupt officers and staff within our midst has never been clearer.”