The force is facing scrutiny and criticism for its handling of violence against women after another officer was sentenced last week in the murder of Sarah Everard.
LONDON – A London police officer was arrested and charged with rape on Sunday, just days after another officer was sentenced for the murder of Sarah Everard in a case that jeopardized public confidence in the service. deepened.
David Carrick, 46, the officer alleged on Sunday, was working in the same unit of the police force assigned to Ms Everard’s killer Wayne Coogens at the time of their attack.
Mr Carrick was charged with rape in Hertfordshire, north of London. He was off-duty in the area at the time of the alleged attack, according to a statement from the London Metropolitan Police Service. The statement said he was suspended from his duties as an officer, and a referral was made to an independent office that oversees police conduct.
The alleged attack took place in September 2020, According to Hertfordshire Police.
The arrest comes at a time when London’s police force faces renewed scrutiny and criticism for its handling of violence against women, following several high-profile cases including the murder of Ms Everard.
During last week’s sentencing hearings for Mr. Coogens, new details emerged about the way he used his position of authority and police equipment to falsely arrest Ms. Everard before abducting, raping and murdering her. The police force has also faced criticism for failing to respond to previous allegations of sexual misconduct against Mr.
Watchdog groups have called for a public inquiry into the police department’s approach to violence against women and the behavior of its own officers, and last week there were renewed calls for the resignation of Metropolitan Police Chief Cressida Dick.
Mr Carrick, who will appear in court via video on Monday, is part of the same Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command of the Metropolitan Police as Mr. The unit’s responsibilities include guarding the Houses of Parliament and foreign embassies, and it also provides officers for the protection of government ministers.
Ms Dick said in a statement she was “deeply concerned” about Mr Carrick’s arrest.
“I fully recognize that the public will be very concerned too,” she said.
Last week, police released a series of safety tips for women if they encounter an officer, or someone they consider a threat. Guidance included asking the officer “search” questions, running to a nearby house, or flagging a bus.
The advice was also accompanied by a list of other measures that police had taken or planned to take after Ms Everard’s murder, but many critics said they called for police to address internal failures of the police and to deal with violence. Little was done to address the internal failures. women more widely.