London police facing questions after officer admits rapes

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Britain’s largest police force was on Monday facing fresh scrutiny about its vetting procedures after an officer admitted 24 counts of rape and a string of sexual assaults over nearly two decades. David Carrick’s crimes, described by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s office as “appalling”, is the most high-profile police case since a fellow officer kidnapped, raped and murdered a young woman in 2021.

Then, as now, background checks by the Metropolitan Police in London were found lacking, leaving it battling to regain dented public confidence.

Carrick, 48, appeared in court in London on Monday and pleaded guilty to four counts of rape, as well as false imprisonment and indecent assault against a 40-year-old woman in 2003.

Reporting restrictions were lifted on his admission at a previous hearing in December of 43 charges involving 11 other women, including 20 counts of rape, over a 16-year period to September 2020. He will be sentenced over two days from February 6.

The Met, which polices a population of more than eight million people over 620 square miles (1,605 square kilo-metres) in the British capital, called Carrick a “prolific, serial sex offender”.

Assistant Commissioner Barbara Gray said he had abused his position of trust to commit “horrific, degrading crimes”. —AFP