UK police chief told to check all officers by end of March after Carrick case

Police in England and Wales have been told they have until March 31 to complete checks on all officers and staff after a Metropolitan Police officer admitted to dozens of rapes and other crimes. .

The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) sent a letter to sergeants on Friday telling them that checks should be carried out as soon as possible and that all cases should be identified for further investigation by September. rice field.

The UK Home Office has ordered a check after former Metropolitan Police officer David Carrick pleaded guilty to 49 crimes, including 24 rapes.

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An undated police mugshot of metropolitan police officer David Carrick, who last admitted to 49 serious sex crimes on 16 January 2023 in Southwark Crown Court, London. (Hertfordshire Police)

Carrick, 48, who served alongside rapist and murderer Wayne Cousins ​​(Sarah Everard’s killer), has been charged with 49 counts of rape, wrongful imprisonment, and rape involving 12 women between 2003 and 2020. , admitted to lewd assault.

He met women on dating apps or in social settings and used his job to reassure and intimidate them. He kept some locked up in small cupboards for hours, beaten and urinated on.

“The abuse of power is truly upsetting and our thoughts are with his victims,” ​​Prime Minister Rishi Sunak told the House of Commons on Wednesday.

“Police must deal with the failure of this case, restore public confidence and ensure the safety of women and girls,” he said.

“There will be nowhere to hide for those who use their position to intimidate women and girls, and those who do not take action to reprimand and eliminate those who are not fit for office.”

trust is undermined

NPCC Chairman Martin Hewitt said in the letter: They deserve to be better and they deserve to give their absolute trust to their officers who might deal with them when needed.

“Words do not rebuild trust, only the public who sees actions and the consequences of those actions.

“Checking all officers and staff ensures that every stone is turned inside out in our efforts to crack down on abusers and corrupt individuals. I know I stand for action.”

The NPCC said the final stage of the process will be to develop a new automated platform to perform ongoing national police database checks.

The Home Office has also launched a review of the police disciplinary system, allowing police officers who are “unfit to serve the public” and “not up to the high standards expected” to be fired.

More than 1,000 Metropolitan Police Department officers and employees previously accused of domestic violence or sexual offenses are reviewing their cases.

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Metropolitan Police Commissioner Mark Rowley smiles as King Charles III of Great Britain visits to thank emergency services workers at Lambeth Headquarters in London on September 17, 2022. (Carl de Souza – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

rebuild trust

Also on Friday, London Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley announced his plans to improve standards and rebuild trust in the police.

Laurie, who replaced Dame Cressida-Dick last September, said earlier this month that he had a “practical plan to turn things around” after the watchdog found the police’s anti-corruption system was not fit for purpose. ‘ was set up. A sobering overhaul of disciplinary procedures found officers and staff immune to misconduct and violation of the law.

He said in a statement: Our community knows that reform is needed at the MET, not only in terms of standards and culture, but also in our efforts to reduce crime. ”

“The next two years will be critical, from adopting new technologies and methods, to achieving our goals, to investing in our people. , we also expect the highest standards,” he added.

“I am determined to regain the trust of the people of London. We owe our success to the dedicated, loyal and often brave men and women who make up the majority of the MET. work has begun, but I must be frank: without the continued support and support of extensive police, politicians, partner organizations, and most of all, the community, the drastic Reform cannot be achieved quickly.”

Responding to the MET’s plans, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: Very important for consensual policing.

“I am as disgusted and disappointed as I am by what has been recently exposed and desperate to raise the bar and do my part to ensure that the bond between the police and the communities they serve is restored. I have spoken to many police officers who have been strengthened to build a safer London for all.”

Khan said he “wholeheartedly” supports Lowry’s “turnaround plan” and approved funding for 500 new police community support officers to “build on progress” in police efforts to reduce violent crime. said.

Lily Zhou and PA Media contributed to this report.

Alexander Chan