Metropolitan police officer David Carrick

Details of the crimes of serial rapist David Carrick were released this week as he was sentenced at Southwark crown court. And, crucially, information was revealed about how many opportunities were ignored to stop his campaign of violence. 

Carrick, who was a serving police officer for 20 years, was given 36 life sentences on Tuesday and will spend at least the next 30 years in prison. He pled guilty to 85 serious offences including sexual assault, false imprisonment, coercive or controlling behaviour and 48 rapes against 12 women. 

Carrick’s known crimes encompass a 17-year period—all committed while he was a police officer. In court, his victims said they were too scared to report him. His crimes only fully came to light once a woman came forward after the murder of Sarah Everard by another Met cop, Wayne Couzens.

And Carrick specifically used his role as a police officer to entice women to trust him—and later to intimidate them into staying silent. 

Some of the details came out in victim impact statements read out in court by prosecutor Tom Little KC. One woman, known to the press as Alice, said, “That night I felt I had encountered evil.”

Carrick held a gun to Alice’s head inside his flat in south west London and repeatedly raped her. “I distinctively remember his words: ‘Come on, you can trust me, I am the safest person you can be around, I am a police officer.’ I honestly thought he was going to kill me that night, I thought he was going to rape me and kill me and that my life would be over.”

But Carrick wasn’t just any old cop—he was a firearms officer, charged with guarding parliament and diplomatic sites.

He used his particular standing as a member of a specialist unit and used police equipment as a method to intimidate his victims.  

Little told the court that Carrick threatened one woman “with his police baton and sent her a photograph of his work-issue firearm saying: ‘Remember I am the boss.’ He told her that she should obey him.”

The same woman, who lived with Carrick, was locked in an understairs cupboard as a “punishment”. “She was made to strip naked. They did not communicate whilst she was in the cupboard, he would stand outside and whistle at her as if she was a dog.”

Humiliation, violent sexual abuse and extensive injuries run through his litany of abuse. 

But how did his police colleagues miss such a prolific abuser in their ranks? The timeline of horrors shows that Carrick’s behaviour was almost tolerated in the open among his colleagues, who nicknamed him “bastard Dave”. 

Cops from multiple forces spoke to informally—or formally investigated—Carrick over a 21-year period, yet he was never dealt with through disciplinary channels. 

Accusations against him included brandishing a knife at a woman, grabbing a woman by the neck, harassment and assault. 

Despite this, he was able to continue to serve as a cop—giving him unique mechanisms to abuse his victims. 

The cops’ failure to believe women shows how they will protect abusers within their ranks, whatever the cost. And it shows more broadly why many women are too scared to go to the police with allegations of sexual violence—because they’re not taken seriously. 

It’s no accident that abusers like Carrick and Couzens thrive in the police. It’s because the police is a rotten institution, devised and run to oppress working class people through force.

The cops reflect the most oppressive ideas and behaviour in society. No amount of internal scrutinising or fiddling about with disciplinary measures can adequately address how cops consistently harbour abusers within their ranks. 

Carrick is caught for now—but not because of the cops. It’s despite them, and because of the bravery of women who insisted on justice for themselves. 

A timeline of abuse

Carrick joined the Metropolitan Police in 2003. But just one year before, the same police force investigated a woman’s allegations against him of malicious communications and burglary. 

During his probation period, the Met investigated a former partner’s allegations of harassment and assault. No arrest was made, and the report was not referred to the force’s internal body—the Directorate of Professional Standards—to consider disciplinary action. 

In 2004, Carrick was “involved in a domestic incident” and Met cops responded. But there was still no referral to consider potential disciplinary action. 

Five years later, cops were called on Carrick after he rapes and brandishes a knife at a woman. The Met police said that Carrick’s supervisors were told but there was no “formal referral”. 

In 2016, Carrick was an initial suspect in a Hampshire Police investigation following an allegation of harassment. 

And in the following year, Carrick was spoken to by Thames Valley cops for being drunk in a nightclub—there was no arrest, and no referral to the Met either.

In a 2019 case, Carrick was accused of grabbing a woman by the neck in a domestic incident. Hertfordshire Police took no further action. Upon receiving a referral, Carrick was only “given words of advice in relation to informing his chain of command about off-duty incidents”. The force found no case to answer in relation to misconduct.”

In 2021 Carrick was arrested by Hertfordshire Constabulary following a rape allegation. The case was dropped after the victim decided not to proceed.

The Met put him on restricted duties yet once the investigation was stopped, said “He had no case to answer in relation to any misconduct matters” and lifted work restrictions in September.

Carrick was arrested shortly after for rape, and he was finally charged.

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