Presented by Will Mellor, Cops Gone Bad covers seven new cases, including that of David Carrick, to expose murderers, fraudsters, swindlers, sexual predators and drug dealers within the police force. The show starts Monday, 26th February on Crime + Investigation.
In March 2021, the murder of 33-year-old Sarah Everard by Metropolitan Police constable Wayne Couzens sent shockwaves not only through Britain but around the world. This tragic incident sparked widespread public outrage and prompted urgent discussions on women's safety and the pervasive issue of violence against women. The Metropolitan Police faced severe criticism for their failure to prevent Sarah’s murder, highlighting concerns about the effectiveness of their internal processes in dealing with officers like Couzens who had not been adequately investigated for prior offences.
While the Metropolitan Police grappled with the aftermath of Couzens' arrest, another unsettling incident unfolded in October 2021. Another Metropolitan Police constable was arrested after a woman bravely came forward, reporting that he had raped her the previous year at a Premier Inn in St. Albans after meeting on Tinder. The woman recounted that, during their encounter at a local pub, the constable, David Carrick, ordered a bottle of wine and created a sense of ‘pressure’ for her to drink it because he had paid for it.
Carrick identified himself to the woman as a Metropolitan Police firearms officer with the moniker ‘B*****d Dave’, brandishing his warrant card while regaling her with tales of meeting numerous celebrities and claiming to have safeguarded the Prime Minister. The next morning, the woman woke up naked in a hotel bathtub with vomit in her hair. Carrick told her that she was ‘disgusting’ and referred to himself as a ‘dominant b*****d’ as he sexually assaulted her.
Both Couzens and Carrick were affiliated with the London police unit tasked with safeguarding parliament and diplomats. As Couzens' arrest garnered media attention, Commissioner Cressida Dick, head of the London Metropolitan Police, acknowledged the public's likely concern, stating: ‘I fully recognise the public will be very concerned too. Criminal proceedings must now take their course, so I am unable to comment any further at this stage.’
An inquiry into Carrick uncovered an extensive and distressing history marked by instances of physical and sexual abuse. After a brief stint in the British Army, Carrick transitioned to a career as a police officer with the Metropolitan Police in 2001, later moving to the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command in 2009.
Between 2003 and 2020, Carrick systematically navigated various dating websites, including Tinder and Badoo. He orchestrated meetings with women at local bars in Hertfordshire and occasionally London, exploiting his position as a police officer to quickly establish trust. He projected an image of being ‘fun-loving, charming, and charismatic’, but this outward persona served as a deceptive façade. In reality, he proved to be manipulative, with prosecutors describing him as ‘very self-confident, almost to the point of being cocky’.
After establishing a connection, Carrick manipulated his victims by covering expenses for dinners and drinks, creating a sense of indebtedness. His subsequent tactic involved isolating them from friends and family. Carrick would confine his victims to a cramped under-stairs cupboard in his home, reportedly smaller than a dog crate, where they endured hours without food and were often coerced into cleaning the house in the nude. He even installed surveillance cameras at his home to constantly monitor his victims.
Carrick subjected his victims to appalling mistreatment, including relentless name-calling. He frequently imposed restrictions on their eating, labelling some as ‘fat and lazy’, while others were ordered to stay in bed all day, facilitating prolonged sexual encounters at night. According to accounts from victims, he engaged in degrading behaviour such as urinating on them and using derogatory language. All throughout the ordeals, Carrick had told his victims that it would be his word against theirs, and since he was a police officer, he would be believed.
Following Carrick's arrest for rape in St. Albans, numerous women came forward to disclose their experiences of abuse at his hands. Among them was a fellow Metropolitan Police officer, who reported he raped her at his home in 2004. During his 17-year reign of terror, some incidents had been officially documented. In the year 2000, he became a suspect in two cases reported to the Metropolitan Police, involving allegations of malicious communications and burglary by a former partner who had experienced difficulties after their breakup. No arrest was made and no further action was taken.
Two years later, Carrick faced accusations of harassment and assault from another former partner. Once again, he escaped arrest and no further action was pursued. Notably, the matter was not referred to the Directorate of Professional Standards. In that same year, Carrick became the subject of the initial complaint in a series of five public grievances lodged between 2002 and 2008. Two allegations of rudeness were addressed through local management action, while three complaints regarding incivility and the use of force were either withdrawn or dismissed.
In 2004, Carrick was engaged in a domestic incident, but no criminal allegations were reported to the Metropolitan Police. He faced neither arrest nor referral to the Directorate of Professional Standards. Five years later, Hertfordshire Police received a report of domestic abuse involving Carrick from a third party, but they declined to file a complaint and no charges were brought. Then, in 2016, Carrick became a suspect in a Hampshire Police investigation stemming from an allegation of harassment. However, he evaded arrest, and the investigation was ultimately closed.
In 2018, Hertfordshire Police received a third-party report of assault and criminal damage involving Carrick and a woman during a domestic incident. Although he was accused of grabbing her by the neck, no further action was taken after the case was reviewed by the domestic abuse unit. Notably, this incident was referred to the Directorate of Professional Standards, resulting in Carrick receiving advice regarding the disclosure of off-duty incidents to his chain of command.
Ultimately, David Carrick was charged with 49 separate offences, including 24 instances of rape which related to 12 different victims. Peter Burt, senior district Crown prosecutor for CPS Thames and Chiltern announced: ‘We remind all concerned that criminal proceedings against the defendant are active and that he has the right to a fair trial. It is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings.’
On 13th December 2022, Carrick appeared in the Old Bailey where he pleaded guilty to 43 charges. The following month, he pleaded guilty to four more counts of rape, as well as false imprisonment and indecent assault. Met Commissioner Mark Rowley apologised to Carrick’s victims and said that he had ‘abused women in the most disgusting manner’ and went unpunished due to ‘systemic failures’. He then added: ‘We have failed. And I'm sorry. He should not have been a police officer.’
The troubling case prompted numerous inquiries into the Metropolitan Police and their inadequacies in safeguarding women. Scotland Yard disclosed that over 1,000 serving officers and staff had faced previous allegations of sex offences and domestic abuse. However, they cautioned that the majority were likely to remain in their positions. A report highlighted the prevalence of a culture marked by misogyny and predatory behaviour in many police forces across England and Wales, citing lax vetting standards as a contributing factor. Matt Parr, His Majesty's Inspector of Constabulary, concluded that it was ‘too easy for the wrong people to both join and remain in the police'.
Carrick returned to court for his sentencing phase on 7th February, where he was handed 36 life sentences with a minimum sentence of 30 years and 239 days. In handing down the sentence, Mrs. Justice Cheema-Grub remarked: ‘These convictions represent a spectacular downfall for a man charged with upholding the law and empowered to do so even to the extent of being authorised to bear a firearm in the execution of his duty.’
In July, the Independent Office for Police Conduct disclosed its investigation into whether Metropolitan Police officers had failed to take appropriate actions in response to criminal allegations against Carrick. Concurrently, it was announced that six of his victims intended to sue the force, alleging missed opportunities to apprehend him sooner.