The case of a serial rapist in their own ranks has shaken the London police: A British police officer has confessed to 24 cases of rape and numerous other sexual assaults in court. London's Metropolitan Police admitted failures in handling the case on Monday. The man could have been stopped earlier.
David Carrick, 48, who worked with a unit protecting MPs and diplomats, appeared in a London court on Monday and pleaded guilty to four counts of raping a 40-year-old woman in 2003. At a hearing in December, he had already admitted 20 other rapes.
A representative of the London Metropolitan Police apologized to Carrick's victims on behalf of the agency. "We should have noticed his behavior and by not doing so we missed the opportunity to pull him out," she admitted. Carrick abused his position as a police officer to commit "terrible, degrading crimes".
The police officer was arrested in October 2021 after reporting rape. As the police now conceded, a thorough review of his file revealed that allegations of domestic violence, rape and harassment against the ex-soldier existed before he joined the police service. Even while he was on police duty, there were further complaints against Carrick. Nevertheless, no criminal investigations and no internal disciplinary proceedings were initiated against Carrick for a long time.
In addition to the four rapes, Carrick admitted on Monday to having deprived the woman of her freedom and sexually assaulted her. In December, he had already admitted to sexual assault against 11 other women over a 16-year period through September 2020, including 20 rapes.
Chief Inspector Iain Moor told reporters Monday he expected more victims to come forward. Carrick used his position as a police officer to tell women "it was useless to seek help because no one would believe them." He treated his victims "in the most destructive way". Prosecutor Jawant Narwal spoke of one of "the most shocking cases" that the investigative authority had ever had to deal with.
After a series of scandals, the Metropolitan Police are already facing massive criticism. The kidnapping, rape and murder of Londoner Sarah Everard by a police officer in March 2021 caused outrage. Wayne Couzens, who has since been fired and also served in a unit protecting MPs and foreign diplomats, was sentenced to life in prison.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said he was "disgusted and appalled" by the new case. "Londoners are rightly shocked that this man has been able to work for the Met for so long and serious questions need to be answered as to how he could have abused his position as a police officer in such a horrific way," he said.
According to investigators, Carrick met his victims through dating apps or in bars and used his position as a police officer to gain their trust. He then controlled, attacked and humiliated her. The court plans to announce the verdict against Carrick in early February.
A major investigation is underway within the Metropolitan Police into possible wrongdoing or criminal offenses by officers. That includes more than 1,600 cases of suspected sex offenses or domestic violence, according to the Met.
In a report presented in November, parts of the British police were also accused of widespread misogynistic and racist behavior. For applicants it is "too easy to get into the police service and stay there".