London police officer charged with rape

Policeman worked for the same elite protection unit as convicted murderer Wayne Couzens

A London police officer charged with rape has been remanded in custody after appearing in court.

Police Constable David Carrick, 46, was arrested on Saturday and suspended the same day, the UK capital’s Metropolitan Police said.

On Sunday, the force said he had been charged with rape.

Mr Carrick works for the London police unit responsible for protecting Parliament and diplomats, which also employed Wayne Couzens, who was sentenced to life in prison for the abduction, rape and murder of Sarah Everard, 33.

Couzens, 48, was a serving Metropolitan Police officer when he carried out the attack in March.

The UK government and London’s police force are still trying to deal with the fallout from the case, which sparked an uproar among the public.

Couzens, who was jailed on Thursday, staged a false arrest on Everard as she walked home from a friend’s house.

On Saturday, the Metropolitan Police confirmed that Couzens had been approved for armed patrols of Parliament on five occasions last year.

The head of the force, Commissioner Cressida Dick, said she was “deeply concerned” at the news Mr Carrick had been charged.

“I fully recognise the public will be very concerned too,” she said. “Criminal proceedings must now take their course, so I am unable to comment any further at this stage.”

Social media has been flooded with posts from women relating their own experiences of harassment and assault, and calling for firmer political action against such crimes.

The London force, Britain’s biggest, has been widely criticised for advising women to flag down a passing bus if they are stopped by an officer whose actions appear suspicious.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson backed that advice in a BBC interview, but said: “My view is that the police do, overwhelmingly, a wonderful job.”

Mr Johnson urged “women of all ages to trust the police”.

Updated: October 4th 2021, 1:30 PM