Victims of one of the worst known sex offenders in the country, the former police officer David Carrick, are considering legal action against the Metropolitan Police for failures to prosecute Carrick sooner.
Carrick, who on Tuesday was sentenced to a minimum jail term of 32 years, admitted to 49 offences against 12 women that occurred during his 20 years in the force. In that time, Carrick was investigated on several occasions for harassment and assault. However, each of these investigations were closed, at times resulting in only ‘words of advice’ from his superiors.
One victim said of the Met, ‘I feel that they are responsible for what happened to us. Yes, it was him who hurt us, but it was they who didn’t stop him in the first place, despite having many chances to do so.’
The legal group Centre for Women’s Justice (CWJ) said they are ‘speaking with a number of victims of David Carrick to explore potential legal action against the Metropolitan Police.’ CWJ believe that Carrick’s ‘escalating campaign of abuse may have been stopped sooner,’ if the recommendations from their 2020 super-complaint to the Met been adopted earlier.
CWJ’s director, Harriet Wistrich, also said the elite armed police unit known as Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection, of which both Carrick and Sarah Everard murderer Wayne Couzens were members, needs a ‘very thorough investigation’ to understand how these misogynistic attacks were allowed to happen.
CWJ says that if investigations over police perpetrated domestic abuse were conducted by officers from a different force, rather than internally, they may have been dealt with more impartially. The organisation highlighted that had its recommendation for monitoring PPDA cases been accepted, Carrick’s previous incidents would have been noticed and he might not have been re-vetted in 2017.
In response to Carrick’s sentencing, Met commissioner Sir Mark Rowley apologised to victims, saying ‘we weren’t rigorous enough in our approach and as a result, we missed opportunities to identify the warning signs over decades. I want to again reiterate my apology on behalf of the Met. We are truly sorry.’
One victim highlighted the need for the police force to learn and improve, saying, ‘now we need answers from the Metropolitan Police and we need to see real change.’