Labour Promises New Mandatory Standards For Police Vetting After David Carrick Case

Yvette Cooper said it was further evidence of "appalling failures" in the police.
Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper.
Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper.
Yui Mok - PA Images via Getty Images

Labour has vowed to introduce new national standards of police vetting after the harrowing cases of David Carrick and Wayne Couzens.

Yvette Cooper, the shadow home secretary, said a Labour government would introduce mandatory criteria for vetting, checks and misconduct.

The senior MP accused ministers of failing to introduce any serious changes to police vetting since the “awful” murder of Sarah Everard two years ago.

Cooper made the comments after Met Police armed officer David Carrick admitted dozens of rape and sexual offences against 12 women.

Carrick, known to colleagues as “B***ard Dave”, humiliated his victims, branded them “slaves” and locked some in a cupboard under the stairs for hours without food.

Cooper described it as a “truly shocking and appalling case” and paid tribute to the bravery of his victims.

But she added: “It is further evidence of appalling failures in the police vetting and misconduct processes, still not addressed by government, that he was ever able to serve as a police officer.

“Two years ago, after the awful murder of Sarah Everard, Conservative ministers promised that action would be taken to improve vetting, checks and standards.

“Yet since then, ministers have completely failed to introduce any new national standards or requirements or any serious changes to police vetting, conduct and misconduct processes.

“Instead, at the very time that Wayne Cozens was being prosecuted and Home Office ministers and the police were promising change, the police had failed to suspend David Carrick while rape allegations were investigated, and soon after reinstated his firearm permissions.

“Everyone who demanded change will feel badly let down today.”

Labour has been calling for the Home Office to completely overhaul the police standards system to restore confidence in policing.

“Yet there has been a total lack of leadership from the centre,” Cooper added.

“The next Labour government will to introduce new national compulsory standards on vetting, checks and misconduct.”

The Met has apologised after it emerged he had come to the attention of police over nine incidents, including rape allegations, between 2000 and 2021.

Assistant Commissioner Barbara Gray said: “We should have spotted his pattern of abusive behaviour and because we didn’t, we missed opportunities to remove him from the organisation.”

Downing Street described the case as “appalling” and said that high-profile incidents had “shattered” public trust.

Metropolitan Police via PA Media

The prime minister’s official spokesman said: “This is an appalling case and the Prime Minister’s thoughts are with all of his victims.

“We have been clear, there is no place in our police forces for officers who fall so seriously short of the acceptable standards of behaviour and are not fit to wear the uniform.

“Police forces must root out these officers to restore the public’s trust, which has been shattered by high-profile events such as this.

“The Home Office is pushing for improvement and has recently announced a review of police dismissals to ensure the system is fair and effective at removing officers who are not fit to serve.”

Home Secretary Suella Braverman is looking at how the dismissal process for officers can be improved, amid concerns about a lack of public trust in the police.

The Met has said that the force is confident Carrick would not have passed vetting procures to join the force today, and said that in 2009, when he joined what is now the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command, previous incidents resulting in criminal or misconduct action were not necessarily taken into consideration.


What's Hot