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World

UK police reviewing cases after officer’s serial rape plea

LONDON (AP) — Britain’s Metropolitan Police said Tuesday it was reviewing more than 1,600 cases of alleged sexual offenses and domestic abuse involving its staff after it emerged that a London police officer who was a serial rapist managed to stay in his job for two decades.

David Carrick, 48, pleaded guilty Monday to 49 criminal charges, including 24 counts of rape against 12 women over 18 years. Authorities said Carrick was the subject of multiple complaints throughout his career from 2001, but he was only suspended from duty in 2021 when he was arrested for rape.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Mark Rowley acknowledged that Carrick’s continued employment was a “spectacular failure” of the London department.

“You can’t say anything else; it absolutely is,” Rowley told the BBC. “This is about weak decision-making in professional standards, not joining the dots between related incidents and poor policies, and that all comes together to mean he was a police officer for 20 years and for a large part of this he was a predatory rapist.”

The Metropolitan Police is Britain’s largest police force. It said Tuesday it was reviewing allegations of domestic abuse or sexual offenses against officers or other employees from the past 10 years to ensure the correct actions were taken.

It estimated there were 1,633 cases involving 1,071 staff members to consider.

Prosecutors described Carrick’s crimes as among the worst committed by a serving police officer. The case has triggered fresh criticism of the Metropolitan Police’s failure to improve its vetting procedures and standards.

The troubled force has faced repeated allegations of misogyny and racism within police ranks, and has struggled to regain public trust since a serving officer, Wayne Couzens, was convicted of kidnapping, raping and murdering a stranger, Sarah Everard, while she was walking home at night in London in 2021.

The Associated Press