The stories of police-perpetrated abuse of women that have emerged since the murder of Sarah Everard have been relentless and shocking – they show without doubt that there is something very rotten going on within the Metropolitan police force. In the wake of the case of David Carrick – a police officer who this week pleaded guilty to an astonishing 49 offences, including 24 rapes – public figures are queueing up to call out the Met’s culture. But where were they when these crimes – many of which could have been prevented – were being committed?
In 2021 Priti Patel, then home secretary, announced that there would be an inquiry into Everard’s murder at the hands of a serving Met officer. In response to Carrick’s conviction, she stood up in parliament and called for that inquiry to be put on a statutory footing, so that it could examine the wider issues of violence against women within the Met police. This seemed a little odd, given that she resisted the call we made at the Centre for Women’s Justice (CWJ) in October 2021 to do precisely that, based on a number of other reports of serious offenders within the Met police – including Carrick himself, who had just been charged with rape….