A serving officer from London’s Metropolitan Police has admitted 49 offences, including 24 counts of rape over an 18-year period.
David Carrick appeared before the Southwark Crown Court in the British capital on Monday to plead guilty to four counts of rape, false imprisonment and assault of a 40-year-old woman in 2003, the British news agency PA Media reported.
At Old Bailey Criminal Court in London, Carrick admitted last month that between March 2004 and September 2020 he had brought 43 charges against 11 other women, including 20 counts of rape, the PA said.
A string of recent scandals has shed light on what Britain’s police watchdog called a culture of misogyny and racism within London’s police force.
In September 2021, Metropolitan Police officer Wayne Couzens was sentenced to life in prison without parole for the kidnapping, rape and murder of Sarah Everard, a case that horrified the nation and sparked debate about violence against women.
Metropolitan Police Service Commissioner Cressida Dick resigned from her position in 2022, after a scathing review by the Independent Office for Police Conduct made 15 recommendations to change policing practices in the country.
Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) called Carrick’s case one of the “most shocking” ever.
“The scale of degradation Carrick subjected his victims to is unlike anything I have encountered in my 34 years with the prosecution,” said CPS Chief Prosecutor Jaswant Narwal.
“I commend every woman who courageously shared their traumatic experience and enabled us to take this case to court and see justice served,” Narwal continued, speaking outside Southwark Crown Court on Monday.
The senior investigating officer on the case, Detective Superintendent Iain Moor, called Carrick’s crimes “truly shocking”.
“Police are committed to tackling violence against women and girls in all its forms,” said Moor, adding “no one is above the law.”
Assistant Commissioner for the Metropolitan Police Barbara Gray also apologized to all victims on behalf of the police.
Gray said on Monday that Carrick “should have been fired from the force a long time ago”.
She later added: “We should have seen his pattern of abusive behavior and because we didn’t, we missed opportunities to remove him from the organisation. We sincerely regret that Carrick was able to continue to use his role as a police officer to prolong the suffering of his victims.”
“The duration and nature of Carrick’s offenses are unprecedented in the police force. But unfortunately he is not the only Met officer who has been accused of serious sex offenses in the recent past,” she said.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said: “London will rightly be shocked that this man has been able to work for the Met for so long and serious questions need to be answered about how he could abuse his position as an officer in this appalling situation. manner.”
Khan noted that work to reform the Met’s culture and norms has already begun following a mid-term review and that a new, anonymous police complaint hotline and anti-corruption team have recently been established by Police Commissioner Mark Rowley.
“But more can and must be done,” Khan added on Twitter. “It is vital that all crime victims have confidence in our police force, and we simply need to do more to raise standards and empower police leaders to rid the Met and all other police departments of those officers who are clearly unqualified to to serve.”
Women’s rights groups called for an investigation into the Met over Carrick’s case.
The British charity Refuge called Carrick’s crimes “utterly abhorrent”.
“If a man charged with 49 felonies, including 24 rape charges, is a serving police officer, how can women and girls feel safe,” Refuge tweeted Monday.
UK organization End Violence Against Women also posted on Twitter: “This is an institution in crisis. That Carrick’s pattern of egregious behavior was known to the Met and they didn’t respond says more than their empty promises to women.”
“Solidarity with the victims and all who feel the weight of the traumatic details being reported,” it added.
The British Women’s Equality Party tweeted: “The Met had known about the allegations for TWENTY years. They did nothing when a serial rapist abused his power. They are complicit. Misogyny will never be taken away from the police without a nationwide legal inquiry.”
The Fawcett Society, which campaigns for gender equality and women’s rights, said on Twitter: “Any act of sexual assault is a disgrace. But it is especially damaging when these crimes are once again committed by a person who has additional responsibilities to keep the public safe.