In a distinguished 30-year career with London’s Metropolitan Police, Dal Babu has seen his fair share of shocking behavior.
Yet the handling of a female recruit’s sexual assault allegedly at the hands of her superior disgusted him so much he’s never forgotten the incident.
A detective sergeant had taken a young constable to a call, pulled up into a side area and sexually assaulted her, Babu, a former chief superintendent, claimed. “She was brave to report it. I wanted him sacked but he was protected by other officers and given a warning,” he said.
Babu said the sergeant in question was allowed to serve until his retirement, while the woman decided to leave the force.
The alleged incident happened around a decade ago, Babu said. He resigned in 2013 after being passed over for a promotion.
Yet, despite many public moments of apparent reckoning since, the United Kingdom’s biggest police service continues to be rocked by allegations it’s doing little to ensure citizens are safe from some of its own staff.
In the latest case, David Carrick, an officer from the same force, pleaded guilty to 49 offenses against 12 women over an 18-year period, including 24 counts of rape.
Carrick’s admission, on January 16, came almost two years after the death of Sarah Everard, a young woman who was snatched from a London street by Wayne Couzens, another officer, who like Carrick, served with the country’s elite parliamentary and diplomatic protection unit. This part of the police is armed, unlike many other UK forces.
Everard, 33, was raped and murdered before her body was dumped in woodland around 60 miles from London, in the neighboring county of Kent, where Couzens lived. It later emerged that her attacker had a history of sexual misconduct, just like Carrick, who was subject to multiple complaints before and during his 20-year police career – to no avail.
Protesters placed 1,071 imitation rotten apples outside Scotland Yard, the Met Police headquarters, on Friday to highlight the same number of officers that have been placed under fresh review in 1,633 cases of sexual assault and violence against women and girls that were made over the past decade.
Met Commissioner Mark Rowley apologized for the failings that led to Carrick not being caught earlier, in an interview distributed to UK broadcasters.
Announcing a thorough review of all those employees facing red flags, he said: “I’m sorry and I know we’ve let women down. I think we failed over two decades to be as ruthless as we ought to be in guarding our own integrity.”
On Friday evening, Rowley published a “turnaround plan” for reforming the Metropolitan Police, saying that he was “determined to win back Londoners’ trust.”
Among his desired reforms over the next two years, he said in a statement, was the establishment of an anti-corruption and abuse command, being “relentlessly data driven” in delivery, and creating London’s “largest ever neighborhood police presence.”
Yet Rowley has also bemoaned that he does not have the power to sack dangerous officers, thanks to the fact police can only be dismissed via lengthy special tribunals.
Independent inquiries into the Met’s misconduct system have been scathing. A report last fall found t