Date20 February 2023
Today sees the publication of a key report from North Wales Police prepared following the recent conviction and sentencing of David Carrick for multiple crimes of rape, violence against women and coercive behaviour while he was a Metropolitan Police officer. The report was prepared by the team at the Force, under the leadership of Chief Constable Amanda Blakeman, for North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Andy Dunbobbin.
Policing nationally has been brought under significant scrutiny following several high-profile incidents where the integrity of those who serve in UK police forces has been brought into question. High standards are expected of police officers and it’s imperative that they adhere to the same personal standards that they enforce. This need for transparency and accountability has led to the report being commissioned and published.
The report looks at the implications of the David Carrick case in the local context for North Wales Police, the prevalence of cases of misogyny in the Force, the numbers of cases under investigation and the measures in place to protect the public and ensure the correct vetting of officers.
The report notes that there are currently 27 conduct investigations ongoing relating to 24 individuals within North Wales Police. This number is among the 1662 Police Officers, 186 Police Community Support Officers, 1201 Civilian Staff and 100 Special Constables in the Force in total. 13 cases relate to violence against women and girls, including sexual misconduct and Police Perpetrated Domestic Abuse (PPDA).
The report also looks into measures to address any reports of misconduct by officers and to safeguard the public. To ensure reports of inappropriate behaviour are dealt with appropriately within the organisation and that victims are supported, the Force has developed a four-day Inclusive Leadership Programme (ILP) with Durham University Business School. It is being delivered to all first and second-line supervisors and uses an evidenced-based approach to focus on the importance of inclusive and supportive leadership. This is a critical factor in officers and staff having the confidence to report and challenge inappropriate behaviour by colleagues and supervisors.
Also key to upholding the Force’s standards is the Professional Standards Department (PSD). All staff within the PSD undergo higher levels of vetting than normally expected and are suitably qualified to undertake the role. To provide appropriate scrutiny there is a quarterly PSD Scrutiny Panel which provides the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner with updates.
The PCC and North Wales Police are firmly committed to supporting victims and investigating any allegations swiftly and transparently. However, they recognise that some individuals may prefer reporting to an organisation outside the police. With this in mind, they are encouraging any victims who wish to report sexual violence or domestic abuse, but don’t feel they can contact the police, to report to the Domestic Abuse Safety Unit (DASU) or the Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre (RASASC). These organisations will provide independent advice, advocacy and can make a third-party report on their behalf should they wish.
Andy Dunbobbin, Police and Crime Commissioner for North Wales said: “I recognise the concerns the public has around police conduct following the appalling crimes of David Carrick, which follow on from other crimes by serving officers, such as the murder of Sarah Everard and the treatment of the bodies of sisters Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman.
“Misogyny has no place in the police service, nor should perpetrators of abuse ever hold any office which is meant to protect others. This is why Chief Constable Blakeman has prepared this report laying out the situation in North Wales Police and to detail the provisions in place to protect the public and expose any misconduct among officers.
“As Police and Crime Commissioner, I am reassured to see how much work the Force is doing to combat misogyny. But none of us can rest on our laurels in the fight against abuse and misconduct. We all must remain vigilant, so that the people of North Wales can have confidence in the officers and staff of the Force, whose job it is to keep us all safe and secure.”
Amanda Blakeman, Chief Constable of North Wales Police, commented: “The crimes of David Carrick were despicable and abhorrent. They were exacerbated even further by the position of trust he once held whilst perpetrating these awful acts.
“The devastating effect of Carrick’s offences extends far beyond the Metropolitan Police Service and have put the public spotlight once again on policing across the UK.
“Our communities rightly expect the highest standards and conduct from all our employees. There are several safe ways of reporting instances where our employees have fallen short of the standards expected of them. For those victims that don’t want to report directly to the police then please do so through other organisations such as the Domestic Abuse Safety Unit (DASU) or the Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre (RASASC).
“We remain committed to ensuring that our systems are effective in removing officers who are simply not fit to wear the uniform. We will continue to root those officers out and remove them from our police force.”
Gaynor McKeown, CEO for RASASC and DASU said: “We recognise that reporting any type of sexual abuse or domestic abuse offences can be difficult. This is even more difficult at a time when there have been so many serious allegations made against those who are there to protect us, or if the perpetrator is in a position of trust.
“If you or someone you know are a victim of violence or abuse and you want support, advice or advocacy then please contact our services today. You will be given confidential, free advice and support regardless of whether you wish to report the matter to police. We, with North Wales Police, believe there is no place for abuse within our police force, and will work with them to stop this behaviour and bring perpetrators to justice”
Read the report in full here.
To report any incidents to DASU or RASASC, members of the public should contact:
RASASC - 01248 670628 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
DASU - 01492 534705 or email them via their website: Contact Us / Refer to our Services » DASU North Wales