IOPC review of police handling of reports concerning former PC David Carrick prior to his arrest
Our thoughts are with the many women who were victims of former Metropolitan Police (MPS) Constable David Carrick’s shocking offending and we acknowledge their tremendous courage in reporting this offending to the police. The breadth and depth of his offending and the impact on all of the women affected cannot be underestimated.
PC Carrick’s conduct was first referred to us in July 2021 by the MPS after it was advised by the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire (BCH) Major Crime Unit that Carrick was being investigated for an allegation of coercive or controlling behaviour and rape of a former partner. We decided that the Major Crime Unit should continue with that investigation as it provided a level of independence.
Following Carrick’s arrest in October 2021 and the subsequent charge that followed, we received 22 further referrals from the MPS relating to his conduct, as more allegations and charges were laid against him. We decided that BCH should continue to investigate those matters.
Given concerns over the magnitude of Carrick’s offending, last year we wrote to all forces who had potentially previously come into contact with him between 2000 and 2021, prior to his arrest (Sussex, Hampshire, Surrey, BCH and the MPS), requesting that they review those contacts to identify whether there had been any failures on their part to investigate or prosecute Carrick and to seek assurance that any conduct issues identified would be referred to the IOPC.
All forces have since confirmed those reviews are complete and there are no issues which meet the criteria for a referral to the IOPC.
In light of public concern about Carrick’s offending and the length of time taken to bring him to justice, we are now reviewing the responses from each of those forces to consider whether their handling of reports concerning Carrick were appropriate on each occasion and to determine whether there are any matters which should be referred to the IOPC.
Our review will examine the handling of incidents and reports involving Carrick, with a particular focus on whether reported crimes were investigated appropriately. It will also look at whether sufficient consideration was given to recording and investigating potential complaints and/or conduct matters. The review will only assess reports that were actually made, it will not assess whether reports could or should have been made in particular circumstances but were not.
We may seek further information from forces as part of our review and each force will be asked for details of how they assured themselves the handling of each incident was appropriate and to supply evidence to support this.
The IOPC review will seek to determine whether, in the initial handling of reports concerning Carrick, forces acted in accordance with the law, national and local policy and guidance. Specifically:
- whether reported crimes and non-crime incidents were investigated appropriately, in accordance with procedures in place at the time. In particular, whether handling was inappropriately influenced by Carrick’s status as a serving police officer
- whether appropriate consideration was given to assessing, recording and investigating potential complaints and conduct matters arising from reports about Carrick (or to passing matters to the Metropolitan Police’s Directorate of Professional Standards where the investigating force was not the Metropolitan Police)
- to consider whether any officers and/or police staff members failed to challenge, report or take action in respect of Carrick’s conduct
- whether matters that required mandatory referral to the IOPC were so referred
- any obstacles to information sharing, detection, and/or disruption of Carrick’s offending behaviour
- where shortcomings in force handling are identified by the review team, whether there are any conduct matters which should be referred to the IOPC, or handled locally; and
- whether there is any individual and/or organisational learning arising from the manner in which reports about Carrick were handled by forces.
We are aware of the investigation into Carrick’s offending that is being carried out by the team involved in the Angiolini Inquiry as part of its wider review. We will share the findings of our review and the underlying evidence with the Inquiry team to support their investigation.
Our full terms of reference can be found here.