'Deeply rotten': Is the Metropolitan Police damaged beyond repair?

The news that a serving Met officer was one of the UK's worst ever sex offenders has led campaigners to ask whether the force can keep the public safe.

David Carrick carried out a number of sex attacks while serving in the Metropolitan Police. (PA)
David Carrick carried out a number of sex attacks while serving in the Metropolitan Police. (PA)

The Metropolitan Police has been plunged into further crisis after one of its officers was revealed to be one of the UK's worst ever sex offenders.

PC David Carrick, 48, from Stevenage, Hertfordshire, pleaded guilty to 49 offences across two decades, including 24 counts of rape.

The police missed multiple opportunities to stop him, allowing Carrick to attack at least a dozen women during an 18-year-period. He faced no criminal sanctions or misconduct findings despite coming to the attention of police over nine incidents, including rape allegations.

The case has sparked widespread anger, coming two years after Metropolitan Police officer Wayne Couzens murdered 33-year-old Sarah Everard, as campaigners say women cannot trust the force.

Yahoo News UK outlines the crisis in the Metropolitan Police in 9 points

The crimes: PC David Carrick pled guilty to 49 offences, including 24 counts of rape. Some of his victims were locked in a cupboard under the stairs or forced to clean his house naked. Carrick whipped one woman with a belt and urinated on some of his victims.

Metropolitan Police officer David Carrick admitted carrying out sex attacks on 12 women over an 18-year period. (PA)
Metropolitan Police officer David Carrick admitted carrying out sex attacks on 12 women over an 18-year period. (PA)

Evading capture: Carrick had come to the attention of police over nine incidents, including allegations of rape, domestic violence and harassment, between 2000 and 2021, but faced no criminal sanctions or misconduct findings. He was allowed to continue working as a police officer and continued to abuse his victims.

File photo dated 12/09/22 of Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley who said policing
Metropolitan Police commissioner Sir Mark Rowley apologised over the David Carrick case. (Alamy)

Met apology: The Met acknowledged its failures in the care. Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley said: “This will lead to some women across London questioning whether they can trust the Met to keep them safe. We have failed. And I’m sorry. He should not have been a police officer.”

This undated handout photo issued by the Metropolitan Police shows Pc Wayne Couzens. A British police officer has pleaded guilty to murdering Sarah Everard, who was abducted as she walked home from a friend’s house in London. Wayne Couzens had previously admitted kidnapping and raping Everard. He entered a guilty plea to murder during a hearing on Friday, July 9, 2021. (Metropolitan Police via AP)
Metropolitan Police officer Wayne Couzens was given a whole life prison term for the kidnap, rape and murder of Sarah Everard. (AP)

Wayne Couzens: Carrick's case comes less than two years after serving Met Police officer Wayne Couzens kidnapped raped and murdered Sarah Everard. Couzens used his police badge to falsely arrest his victim. The case led to intense scrutiny of misogyny and wrongdoing on the part of police officers.

Met review: The force admits that despite these two high-profile cases, it has not expelled potential sex offenders from its ranks. A spokesperson confirmed 1,633 cases of alleged sexual offences or domestic violence involving 1,071 officers and staff are currently being reviewed from the last 10 years. The accusations range from arguments to the most serious sexual crimes including rape.

Campaigners' reaction: Harriet Wistrich, director of the Centre for Women's Justice, said Carrick's crimes revealed "the deeply rotten misogynistic culture that has been allowed to fester within the Met". The Women's Equality Party said: "They knew. The Met knew about the allegations for 20 years. They did nothing as a serial rapist abused his power. They are complicit."

Photo by: John Nacion/STAR MAX/IPx 2022 5/9/22 London Mayor Sadiq Khan meets with NYC Mayor Eric Adams at the NYC City Hall Rotunda to make an announcement on May, 9, 2022 in New York City, USA. London Mayor Sadiq Khan has arrived in New York to begin a tour of the US aimed at boosting London's economy. Over the next four days, the mayor of London will travel to San Francisco, Silicon Valley and Los Angeles. The tour includes meetings with senior politicians and business leaders at Google and LinkedIn.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said he was 'sickened' by David Carrick's crimes. (AP)

Political reaction: Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said: "There must be a full, urgent review on how serial rapist Carrick could serve as police officer for so long. Government promised action after Sarah Everard’s murder but too little changed." Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: "I am absolutely sickened by the truly abhorrent offences that David Carrick has committed."

Police detain a woman as people gather at a memorial site in Clapham Common Bandstand, following the kidnap and murder of Sarah Everard, in London, Britain March 13, 2021. Reuters photographer Hannah McKay:
The Metropolitan Police were criticised for their handling of a vigil for murdered Sarah Everard on Clapham Common in March 2021. (AP)

Previous scandals: Cressida Dick resigned as commissioner last year following a number of scandals, including the Couzens case and the police mishandling of a vigil for Sarah Everard. The Met was also accused of "institutional corruption" over the unsolved murder of private investigator Daniel Morgan.

Met response: The force said staff who have previously been accused of sex offences or domestic abuse are subject to an ongoing review. Officers who abuse their positions of trust are also being investigated and identified, the Met said.