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Sixteen year vetting gap for officer facing sentence for 49 offences

PC David Carrick has pleaded guilty to 49 charges, including false imprisonment, rape and indecent assault, against 12 victims.

A serving Met officer has admitted 49 offences – including 24 counts of rape – after carrying out sex attacks on a dozen women over an 18 year period.

The 48 year old, an armed officer with the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command, had served in the army before joining the Met.

The Met said they understand he served in the Royal Logistics Corps from 1996 to 1997.

The force has now revealed that David Carrick had a 16 year stint as a serving officer without being re-vetted.

He was initially vetted in 2001 when he joined the service and again in 2017. On both occasions his vetting was successful. However, the Met has today said that vetting requirements “were not as robust for either of these clearances as they are now”.

After Carrick was charged with rape in October 2021 – the Met reviewed his service, conduct and complaints record. Upon his arrest, he was immediately suspended.

The reviews found he had been subject to five complaints from members of the public between 2002 and 2008. None of them were of a sexual nature – two had been that he was rude in his manner towards the public (dealt with via management action) and others relating to incivility and use of force - all subsequently withdrawn or dismissed.

Carrick was also on police systems in relation to a number of off-duty incidents (across the Met and other force areas) on nine occasions both before and after his employment as a police office.

Until his arrest in October 2021 – none of the previous incidents had resulted in any criminal sanction. Many had not been referred to the Directorate of Professional Standards.

One incident in 2019 involved an allegation Carrick had assaulted a woman by grabbing her neck. Dealt with by Hertfordshire, no further action was taken. It was referred to the Met and Carrick was given words of advice in relation to informing his chain of command about off-duty incidents.

Following the decision to take no further action in relation to the criminal allegation, it was determined he had no case to answer in relation to misconduct.

The 2021 incident and resultant arrest involved an allegation of rape investigated by Hertfordshire. The victim decided not to proceed and in August, it was decided no further action would be taken. The victim has since been spoken with during the current investigation – the offences she disclosed are among those Carrick has now pleaded guilty to.

This last incident was referred to the Met and Carrick was put on restricted duties. When the criminal allegation was not proceeded with, it was determined that he had no case to answer in relation to any misconduct matters and in September the restrictions were lifted albeit Carrick never returned to full duties.

The IOPC has said that no opportunities to stop Carrick earlier have been identified by police so far.

Two Met officers who dealt with the 2002 allegations (harassment and assault against a former partner) may have committed misconduct in their handling of the accusations, the IOPC said, however the pair have since retired and cannot face misconduct proceedings.

The 2002 incident occurred while Carrick was a probationer and was dealt with by words of advice.

The IOPC has decided it was not in the public interest to take further action.

Carrick had initially worked as a response officer in Merton and Barnet. In 2009 he transferred to what is now the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command. Carrick’s pay was stopped when he entered his first guilty pleas.

Delays in re-vetting has previously been identified as an area of improvement for the Met.

Today, the force has said it “condemns the appalling criminal actions” of Carrick.

Assistant Commissioner Barbara Gray, the Met’s lead for Professionalism, said: “He has devastated women’s lives. He has had a devastating impact on the trust and confidence of women and girls that we are working so hard to earn. He has devastated colleagues.

“He used the fact he was a police officer to control and coerce his victims. We know they felt unable to come forward sooner because he told them they would not be believed.

“We should have spotted his pattern of abusive behaviour and because we didn’t, we missed opportunities to remove him from the organisation.

“We are truly sorry that Carrick was able to continue to use his role as a police officer to prolong the suffering of his victims.”

Since the Met’s recent HMICFRS report and interim findings, an Anti-Corruption and Abuse Command has been established.

A dedicated Domestic Abuse and Sexual Offending investigation team has also been set up with over 50 experienced investigators targeting any officer or staff member who may be engaged in domestic abuse or sexual offences.

The Met said: “Were these incidents to have occurred today, we are more confident that they would have been identified as forming a pattern of behaviour requiring further investigation even in the event that individual allegations had been withdrawn.

“Cases where no further action is taken in relation to criminal allegations are now more likely to be further interrogated to identify any underlying concerns.”

The force added that if Carrick had been re-vetted in 2021 following his arrest, he would not have received clearance according to the processes in place now.

A change from the approach in 2021 means that upon an arrest for a serious offence, consideration is given to a full review of the individuals’ circumstances, including the possibility of re-vetting.

A misconduct hearing will be held tomorrow (Tues 17) in Carrick’s absence.

His sentencing will take place over two days from February 6.

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