It’s another bad day for the Metropolitan police. The serial rapist former PC David Carrick has been given 36 life sentences and told he will not be released for at least 30 years. The details of the case are hard to believe: Carrick, known as ‘Bastard Dave’ to colleagues, has admitted using his status as a police officer to commit 48 rapes. The 48-year-old carried out a spree of dozens of offences against 12 women in a 17-year long campaign of depravity. The horrors of what Carrick did to his victims has led to another public examination of the inner workings of the Met. Once again, the force has been found wanting.
That policing has had, for nearly two decades, one of the most prolific rapists in British legal history serving as an officer is shocking enough. But it gets worse: there were nine separate occasions where Carrick came to the police’s attention for his off-duty conduct, yet nothing was done to protect the public. This is nothing short of gross institutional incompetence.
Policing has proven itself thoroughly unable to clear out its own stable. The vetting standards put in place by the College of Policing are either inadequate to the task or are simply being ignored by Chief Constables across the country. The Chief Executive of the College of Policing has claimed it’s the latter. He may well be right given the Home Secretary’s recent revelation that seven police forces didn’t even bother to respond to last year’s Government review of ‘vetting capacity’. The public certainly deserve to know which Chief Constables think they’re above such tasks.
As police chiefs seem unable to sort out this crisis on their own, the time has come for brave and rapid national political leadership. No