Allegations of two police officers' misconduct for failing to properly investigate concerns about a cop in Stevenage who turned out to be a serial rapist have been upheld.

Last year, Metropolitan Police officer David Carrick, from Stevenage, was handed 36 life sentences with a minimum term of 32 years after admitted 49 charges, including 24 counts of rape and charges of sexual assault, controlling and coercive behaviour and false imprisonment.

He attacked a dozen women between 2003 and 2020.

Now, a gross misconduct hearing chaired by an independent Legally Qualified Chair (LQC) has upheld allegations of discreditable conduct and a failure in duties against Wiltshire Police officers Inspector David Tippetts and PC Emma Fisher.

The misconduct allegations centred on a 2016 report from a member of the public regarding allegations of abuse involving Carrick.

The LQC upheld 11 allegations that PC Fisher failed to investigate the allegation adequately or at all, failed to carry out her duties and obligations to the best of her ability, did not ensure that an accurate record of her actions were kept and she was not diligent in the performance of her duties. 

The LQC also upheld five allegations concerning Insp Tippetts that he had not verified that PC Fisher had undertaken any or all of the matters under investigation, had not instructed PC Fisher to undertake any or all of the matters under investigation, had not noted PC Fisher’s lack of investigation and had not recommended or instructed her to carry out any further actions in relation to the allegation.

Taken cumulatively, the panel determined that the breaches reached the threshold of misconduct.

As a result of this finding, both officers were given final written warnings.

This hearing forms part of a wider, independent investigation led by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) into police handling of reports regarding Carrick.

Deputy Chief Constable Craig Dibdin 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.

"Whilst it would be inappropriate to comment on the ongoing IOPC investigation, clearly the public will have questions as to the impact this inaction might have had on Carrick’s vile offending after 2016.

"Our communities must have the trust and confidence in us to listen to them, investigate any allegation made to us without fear or favour and keep them fully updated as to the actions we are undertaking.

"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."