The police watchdog has launched four investigations into the Met Police's handling of allegations against disgraced Stevenage officer and serial rapist David Carrick.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct confirmed it would be invoking "rarely-used powers" after the force did not find any conduct matter following a review into any reports which could have led to action being taken against the PC sooner.

Carrick, 48, was jailed for at least 30 years in February for violent and degrading sexual offences committed against a dozen women between 2003 and 2020.

Four investigations have now been launched into the conduct of eight Met officers and one staff member by the IOPC, centring on claims that failures to progress misconduct investigations against Carrick were made following criminal probes into his behaviour.

Failure to take action allowed him to remain a police officer until his arrest in October 2021.

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"David Carrick’s horrendous offending, which occurred over almost two decades while he remained a police officer, shocked the public and cast a dark shadow on policing, and we want to acknowledge the courage of his victims in reporting this offending," said IOPC regional director Mel Palmer said.

"The nature and extent of his offending also raised serious questions about whether disciplinary action should have been taken against him when serious allegations were made about his behaviour.

"The police forces did not record any conduct matters arising from their handling of allegations against Carrick, however we identified indications some officers may have behaved in a manner which would justify disciplinary proceedings.

"Our review has identified repeated failures to progress conduct investigations when the Met’s DPS officers were advised that no further action was being taken by the forces carrying out the criminal investigations into Carrick.

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"We were also deeply concerned to find that in respect of two of the cases, David Carrick’s name was removed from the MPS’s system records after the criminal investigations were dropped. This meant that some prior allegations made against Carrick did not show up in the system when further allegations were later made, leading to MPS officers being unable to build a complete picture of his pattern of offending.

"These were potentially missed opportunities to pursue gross misconduct investigations against Carrick, which may have led to his dismissal years before he was eventually arrested."

The IOPC confirmed the investigations will focus on the following allegations:

  • A 2002 allegation of harassment made against Carrick by a former partner. Carrick was a probationary constable at the time and, if subject to a disciplinary investigation at that time, he potentially could have been removed from the force and stripped of his status as a police officer.
  • A 2016 report of harassment and stalking made by a former partner, which was investigated by Hampshire Constabulary. No further action was taken in respect of the alleged crimes, but Hampshire made the Met’s DPS aware of the allegations made against Carrick.
  • A 2019 report of a woman being attacked and dragged out of Carrick’s house by him, which was investigated by Hertfordshire Constabulary. No further action was taken in respect of the alleged crime but Hertfordshire made the Met’s DPS aware of the allegations made against Carrick.
  • A February 2021 report of a woman being raped by Carrick. This was initially recorded by Sussex Police and, when Carrick was identified as the suspect, due to the location of the offence, it was passed on to Hertfordshire Constabulary.