David Carrick: Two Wiltshire Police officers who 'missed opportunity' to investigate serial rapist Met cop given final warning

Two Wiltshire Police officers have been given a final written warning after they failed to properly investigate an allegation of abuse by serial rapist and former cop David Carrick.

Inspector David Tippetts and PC Emma Fisher faced a disciplinary hearing following an investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

The pair failed to properly look into abuse allegations levelled at Carrick five years before the ex-Metropolitan Police firearms officer was first arrested.

A woman called Wiltshire Police in January 2016 to report that Carrick had abused another female.

She wanted the then serving police officer to be investigated.

PC Fisher was assigned the case. After speaking to the woman who made the report, she requested the case was closed before even speaking to the alleged victim.

Her supervisor, Inspector Tippetts, who was a sergeant at the time, agreed.

PC Fisher updated the force's computer system to say the woman had said the matter had been previously investigated - however, there was no record of a previous investigation on Wiltshire's computer system.

If either PC Fisher or Inspector Tippetts had searched police systems they would have found Carrick was already under investigation for an unrelated case which had been reported to the force three days prior.

But neither officer checked the police systems or took any further steps to investigate the matter and the female who reported the allegations was never contacted again by them.

Similarly, despite being informed that Carrick was a serving police officer, neither PC Fisher nor Inspector Tippetts notified the Metropolitan Police or their own Directorate of Professional Standards.

More on Carrick case:
Timeline of missed opportunities

The IOPC investigation began in July 2023 and lasted until January 2024.

It sought the expertise of a Wiltshire Police senior detective, who had no knowledge of the case, and they said there would have been an expectation that the officers would have investigated the case more appropriately.

They added that the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) would normally have been informed of the allegation so their detectives could follow up and speak to the alleged victim if needed.

Both officers showed remorse and confessed to what had taken place at an early stage of the investigation.

'No one to blame but Carrick - but opportunity missed'

IOPC regional director Mel Palmer said: "No one is to blame for David Carrick's horrific spate of offending but him.

"However, our investigation found there was a missed opportunity by Wiltshire Police officers to investigate him following a report of a serious abuse allegation made years before he was eventually arrested.

"PC Fisher took minimal investigative action. She didn't try to contact the victim of the reported crime, flag to the Met a serious allegation against one of its officers, or search David Carrick's name on Wiltshire Police's systems."

The IOPC added: "PC Fisher requested the investigation be closed following minimal work or effort, and her supervisor, PS Tippetts, agreed and - contrary to the force's policy - failed to flag any concerns to colleagues in CID who specialise in investigating serious allegations."

In February 2023, Carrick was sentenced to a minimum term of 30 years in prison for 49 violent and sexual offences, including 24 counts of rape.

The former cop abused his position of power to torment a number of different women.

He joined the force in 2001 before becoming an armed officer in the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection unit in 2009.

However, there were a number of "systematic failings" in his case.

He joined the Met despite prior allegations and was then subject to five complaints between 2002 and 2008.

Carrick passed checks to become a firearms officer in 2009 despite a domestic incident which took place in 2004 and was arrested on suspicion of rape in January 2021.

The Met themselves admitted there were insufficient intelligence checks carried out in his case.

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'A clear case of failure'

Both Wiltshire officers faced a gross misconduct hearing for potentially breaching the police standards of professional behaviour.

The panel determined that both officers had breached the standards of behaviour relating to duties and responsibilities and discreditable conduct and that their actions amounted to misconduct.

They imposed final written warnings on both officers, which will last for two years.

Craig Dibdin, deputy chief constable of Wiltshire Police, said: "This is a clear case of officers failing, in the most basic sense, to properly investigate allegations made to them.

"This failure in service was compounded by a lack of proper oversight and scrutiny by a supervisor."

He added: "I would like to apologise unreservedly to the person whose report we did not initially investigate as we should.

"We will ensure that, organisationally, we will share all the learning emanating from this case to improve the service we provide."