Met Police operation responding to David Carrick scandal 'could take six years to complete'

David Carrick was unmasked as one of the UK's most prolific sexual offenders (PA Media)
David Carrick was unmasked as one of the UK's most prolific sexual offenders (PA Media)

The Met Police has been accused of moving too slowly in its efforts to respond to the David Carrick scandal.

Following public outcry over the case of Mr Carrick, who raped and sexually assaulted twelve women over 17 years while serving as a Met officer, Scotland Yard one year ago announced a new operation called Onyx.

The Met describes Operation Onyx as “a thorough review of all completed sexual offence or domestic abuse cases from the last 10 years involving serving officers or staff where the allegation did not result in a dismissal at the time”.

But Caroline Pidgeon, a Liberal Democrat on the London Assembly, said the operation’s progress “simply isn’t fast enough”, and would take six years to complete at the current rate.

Through Onyx, a total of 1,636 officers and staff were identified as having had allegations made against them between April 2012 and April 2022.

Data requested by Ms Pidgeon and provided by mayor Sadiq Khan’s office reveals that of that overall number, 136 have now left the Met through resignation, retirement, or dismissal.

Of the remaining 1,500 staff identified by Onyx, 91 have so far been assessed as requiring no further action.

The 1,409 ‘live’ Onyx staff members are being “risk managed and are either being prioritised for re-investigation or referred into the Met’s vetting review process, Operation Assure”, according to Mr Khan’s office.

Ms Pidgeon said: “These figures only go to show the scale of the level of reform that is needed at the Met.

“The Baroness Casey review should have been a watershed moment for rebuilding trust in the Met, especially among women and girls, yet with over 1,400 officers still under investigation for sexual abuse, progress has clearly been limited so far.

“Based on the number of cases that reached a conclusion in the last year, it would take a further six years at the current rate to clear all remaining 1,409 cases. This simply isn’t fast enough.”

She added: “It is vital that the reform efforts of the Met are properly resourced, including by the Mayor of London in his upcoming annual budget.”

A spokesman for Mr Khan said in response: “The mayor ensured that the Baroness Casey review was commissioned, lifting the lid on the extent of the problems within the Met.

“He’s now put the Met on a path of far-reaching reform, which includes ensuring all police officers unfit to serve are dealt with robustly. This work is particularly urgent for officers facing allegations of rape and sexual abuse, and Sadiq has been clear that it must be done without delay.

“The Project Onyx team is working on this as quickly as possible and have already risk-assessed all cases that were raised as part of the operation. The team is now proactively reviewing whether any lines of enquiry were missed and will take necessary action if needed, including re-investigating individuals.

“The mayor will continue to support and hold the Met to account on Project Onyx and raising policing standards, rooting out police officers who are unfit to serve and rebuilding the confidence and trust of women and girls in the Met so that we can continue building a safer London for everyone.”

The Met Police was also invited to comment.