Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

From rapists to racists: Police in court as forces to get new powers to sack rogue officers

The list of officers who used their jobs as a cover for committing crimes is longer than many realise

Jane Dalton
Thursday 31 August 2023 00:00 BST
Comments
Met chief apologises to women over 'police failures' as rapist officer Carrick sentenced

Rogue and corrupt police officers may be more easily sacked under government reforms aimed at restoring damaged confidence in forces.

Under the new system, a finding of gross misconduct will automatically result in an officer’s dismissal, unless there are exceptional circumstances.

And all officers who fail vetting while in the job may be sacked.

The overhaul of police disciplinary, vetting and performance processes follows a review launched after the conviction of David Carrick, who was jailed for life, with a minimum of 30 years, for dozens of rapes and serious sexual offences committed while he was a serving police officer.

His case and that of Sarah Everard’s murderer Wayne Couzens led to a drop in public confidence in the police, especially among women.

The scandals led Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley to demand greater powers to sack staff, saying it was nonsensical he could not do so.

The Metropolitan Police have previously admitted convicted sex offenders are serving in the force, and has started a process of re-investigating hundreds of employees for sexual and domestic abuse allegations.

David Carrick

Carrick, 48, abused and raped women over 17 years during his career in the Metropolitan Police before being locked up in February.

He pleaded guilty to 49 offences, which represented more than 70 instances of serious sexual offending.

He was allowed to remain in Britain’s largest force despite police recording nine incidents, including rape and violent assault, because there was no prosecution or disciplinary action against him.

Wayne Couzens exposed himself to a number of women in the months before he kidnapped, raped and murdered Sarah Everard (Metropolitan Police/PA) (PA Wire)

Wayne Couzens

Couzens, a former armed officer with the Met’s Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command, is serving a whole-life sentence for kidnapping, raping and murdering Ms Everard, 33, in south London.

He was also sentenced to 19 months in prison after admitting three counts of indecent exposure that took place before the murder.

The Met held an accelerated misconduct hearing following his guilty plea and he was sacked in July 2021, a week after he admitted the murder in court. The force apologised for not having caught the sexual predator before he attacked.

But these are not isolated cases. Other serving officers have also committed evil acts, using their job as a cover.

Prosecutors at his trial said Provan was obsessed with young women, had viewed teenage pornography and collected more than 700 female contacts on his mobile phone(Credit: Metropolitan Police/ PA) (PA Wire)

Adam Provan

They include Adam Provan, who last week was jailed for 16 years for a series of rapes, including six on a female fellow officer and two on a 16-year-old girl.

The 44-year-old, of Newmarket, Suffolk, who was in the Met Police’s East Area Command Unit at the time of the attacks, met the girl on a blind date in 2010 after lying about his age.

On Wednesday, a Lancashire police officer who stalked and harassed a colleague using official computers was jailed for 21 months.

Justin Fraser

Sgt Justin Fraser checked up on her whereabouts and what she was investigating, police said.

Fraser, of Liverpool, had admitted stalking and securing unauthorised access to computer materials with intent, Preston Crown Court heard.

He retired while still under investigation but a misconduct hearing earlier this month found that he would have been guilty of gross misconduct, sacked and banned from the profession for good.

Thomas Phillips

A Metropolitan Police officer who sent his ex-girlfriend racial slurs about her new partner in five “grossly offensive” messages was jailed last week.

Thomas Phillips used the n-word in a series of WhatsApps to his former partner Samantha Ryan, also a serving officer, when referring to her new boyfriend, Pc Danny Gobin, another officer.

The 34-year-old, from Croydon in south London, was jailed for 71 days. He was suspended from duty during the case and is expected to face misconduct proceedings later.

Adnan Ali

Two months ago, a former police officer who sexually assaulted and sent indecent messages to young people on a cadet scheme he was in charge of was jailed for five years.

Adnan Ali, 36, was found guilty in April of five counts of sexual assault and 15 counts of misconduct in a public office.

Former Greater Manchester Police officer Adnan Ali arriving at Liverpool Crown Court (Peter Byrne/PA) (PA Wire)

Ali was sacked after being found guilty of gross misconduct but senior officers admitted more could have been done to supervise him.

Anthony Paul Smith

Last year former Met Police officer Smith was found guilty of 13 counts of sexual assault and rape against three teenage girls between 1993 and 1997 while he was in the force. The 56-year-old was sentenced to 24 years in jail.

His victims, who had been aged between 13 and 17, said he raped and sexually abused them in various incidents over several years.

He left the force in 2004 after being convicted of an unconnected crime of gross indecency with a child under the age of 16.

PC Luke Wenham

Last month, a Met officer who pepper-sprayed a man as he climbed down a high-rise block of flats to escape arrest avoided jail.

PC Luke Wenham, attached to the Central South Basic Command Unit, was convicted of assault following the incident in Southwark last year was given a 12-month community order.

He was found guilty of two counts of common assault, and sentenced to 15 days rehabilitation and a curfew for three months. Misconduct proceedings against him were due to take place.

Earlier this year it was revealed that more than 1,500 police officers and staff were accused of abusing women, including rape and sexual harassment, over a six-month period, but less than 1 per cent had been sacked.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in