All police forces have been ordered to search for sexual predators and domestic abusers in their ranks, in a major review sparked by the horrific crimes of David Carrick.
Maybe Devon and Cornwall Police also need to review their handling of sexual predators cases outside the force. For example their early reluctance to pursue the John Humphreys paedophile case. “Nothing to be seen here”. DCC and EDDC have their inquiries underway but nothing from the police. – Owl
Lizzie Dearden www.independent.co.uk
It comes after a similar check by the Metropolitan Police found more than 1,000 officers and staff who have had complaints against them in the past decade but remain in service.
The review across England and Wales was announced ahead of a meeting between the prime minister and commissioner Sir Mark Rowley, where the government said Rishi Sunak would “make clear we must work together to root out the misogyny and predatory behaviour within the police’s ranks to restore public confidence”.
The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) is writing to all forces in England and Wales to check their officers and staff against national police databases.
The Home Office said the search would “help identify anyone who has slipped through the net before vetting standards were toughened and ensure those who are unfit to serve can be rooted out”.
Vetting and monitoring processes for police officers are under intense scrutiny after it emerged that Carrick was let into the Metropolitan Police months after the force investigated him for harassing a former partner.
He was allowed to remain in Britain’s largest force for 20 years despite involvement in at least nine incidents, including domestic abuse and violence, as he was never prosecuted and Scotland Yard repeatedly decided Carrick had “no case to answer” for disciplinary proceedings.
All 49 offences, including 24 rapes, he has now admitted perpetrating against 12 women over 17 years took place during his career in the Metropolitan Police.
Martin Hewitt, chair of the NPCC, said: “The confidence of women and girls in London and across the country in the police has been damaged further by the details of David Carrick’s decades long violent and degrading abuse of women and the police failures to spot and stop him.
“Chief constables are rooting abusers and those who betray our standards out of policing.
“We will be asking all police forces to further check their officers and staff against national police databases. This will help identify anyone who has slipped through the net before vetting standards were toughened and remove those who are unfit to serve.”
Details of the review, how it will be carried out and in what timescale are still being formulated.
The home secretary has also asked the College of Policing, which governs police training and standards in England and Wales, to strengthen the statutory code of practice for police vetting and make the obligations all forces must legally follow stricter and clearer.
Suella Braverman said: “Carrick’s sickening crimes are a stain on the police and he should never have been allowed to remain as an officer for so long.
“We are taking immediate steps to ensure predatory individuals are not only rooted out of the force, but that vetting and standards are strengthened to ensure they cannot join the police in the first place.”
The home secretary previously announced a review of the police disciplinary process, which will consider public calls made by commissioner Sir Mark Rowley to give more power to chief constables to govern who serves in their forces.
Ms Braverman told MPs on Tuesday: “I want to make sure we have a fair and effective system of removing those officers who are simply not fit to serve.”
Carrick’s case will also be looked at as part of the ongoing inquiry into police vetting and wider issues by Lady Elish Angiolini, which was started after the 2021 murder of Sarah Everard.
A proposed terms of reference states that the inquiry will question whether processes around recruitment and vetting do enough to identify those who are not fit to serve, investigate the extent of “misogynistic and predatory behaviour” in police culture and the suitability of current risk management.
Several previous watchdog inspections and reports have identified issues with vetting and warned that rapists, domestic abusers and sex predators were being allowed to join and remain in policing.
Following calls from HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary for urgent action on recommendations that were made last year, the government commissioned a “rapid review” of police forces’ responses.
“Despite repeated warnings – including several from us – not enough has been done to improve standards and stamp out misogyny and predatory behaviour in policing,” Andy Cooke had said. “It is vital that the police act on our recommendations. They simply cannot afford to wait any longer.”