The Metropolitan Police may need to change its name in a “root and branch” review of the force following the David Carrick case, Sir Keir Starmer has said.
The Labour leader said the crimes committed by the former officer – who admitted 49 criminal charges including 24 counts of rape – were “jaw-droppingly shocking”.
He suggested the scale of the change now needed at the Met may be comparable to the policing reforms in Northern Ireland in the wake of the Good Friday Agreement which led to the Royal Ulster Constabulary being replaced by the Police Service of Northern Ireland.
In an interview with Global Player’s The News Agents podcast, Sir Keir said the Carrick case followed other scandals where there had been a failure to take action against the perpetrators.
“It absolutely needs fundamental review. The Carrick case is just jaw-droppingly shocking. But it’s obviously not a single case on its own. There are other examples, many of which we’ve seen in the last few years,” he said.
“It needs a root and branch review, cultural change, because this is not just the perpetrators, it’s those that have allowed this to happen, move them around, not taken action when they should have done.
“With the police service in Northern Ireland … that was root and branch, that was stripping it down.
“It was also very important that it was called the Police Service of Northern Ireland because it changed the way in which the force was looking, it was a service to the public, not a police force.”
Pressed on whether the Met should change its name, Sir Keir said: “If changing the name signals a change, then perhaps, but it was very important to what we were trying to achieve in Northern Ireland that it was the Police Service of Northern Ireland.”
The Carrick case followed a series of damaging scandals besetting the Met, including the murder of Sarah Everard, offensive messages exchanged by a team at Charing Cross police station and the strip-search of a teenage girl at school while she was on her period.