THE county’s top cop has sought to reassure residents over the behaviour of local police officers in the wake of offences committed by Metropolitan Police officer PC David Carrick.
Chief constable of Surrey Police, Gavin Stephens, said the details of Carrick’s offending over a 20-year period will cause concern at how far forces have actually come with regard to rebuilding the trust of women in policing.
“While this is not a Surrey case, we know its impact will reach beyond London and directly affect how our own communities in this county feel about us as a service and policing as a whole,” he said. “It has refocused the public spotlight on and scrutiny of policing’s culture and its effectiveness.
“Carrick is a prolific sex offender who preyed on women over many years and abused his position to devastate women’s lives. The details of his offending are appalling. We know he used the fact he was a police officer to control his victims and make them feel unable to come forward through fear of not being believed.
“We know this will raise further questions about how we as a Force ensure this behaviour isn’t demonstrated by any of our officers and staff, and what processes we have in place to prevent such horrific actions being carried out.”
The chief constable said it was important to reassure the public of the efforts being made in Surrey to create an environment ”where abuse is never tolerated, minimised, or excused”.
“We know we haven't always got this right, but we remain committed to ensuring that Surrey Police is an actively hostile place for perpetrators and championing access to justice for survivors.
“I am confident we have made good progress in eradicating unacceptable behaviour in our Force and removing those who have no place in our organisation, but I am not naïve to the fact there is still much more we can and will do. I want to assure you that we are not complacent and continue to move forward crucial work in this area.”