Chief reveals criminal probes into Wiltshire Police officers and staff

THE Chief Constable of Wiltshire Police says police forces must ‘hold a mirror up to themselves’ after the sentencing of David Carrick – as the force continues to probe 13 gross misconduct allegations.

Carrick, an armed officer in the Met Police, has been jailed for a minimum of 30 years after admitting a string of sexual offences against women – including 24 counts of rape.

Now, Chief Constable Kier Pritchard has reaffirmed the Wiltshire force’s total commitment to rooting out misconduct as it investigates the misconduct cases – four criminally.

“The vile actions of Carrick have, rightly, prompted extensive public conversations on how women and girls in our communities can trust the police service and have confidence they will be protected by those who are supposed to safeguard them,” he said.

“This is at a time when the service is already trying to rebuild this public trust further to the murder of Sarah Everard by then serving officer Wayne Couzens.

“Policing is now facing a watershed moment where the public are questing why we should be trusted to keep them safe.

“The actions of the minority who abuse their positions for their own gratification fundamentally go against everything that we believe in, and our primary role in keeping people safe.

“Such cases also deeply undermine the work of the vast majority of my officers, staff and volunteers who are highly committed public servants working tirelessly and bravely to keep the public safe.”

He said officers were also facing a job in re-establishing public trust.

Chief Constable Kier Pritchard. Photo: Hertfordshire Police

Chief Constable Kier Pritchard. Photo: Hertfordshire Police

“We are not immune to such toxically damaging cases here in Wiltshire and we, like all other forces, must now hold the mirror up to ourselves and ensure we root out those who so badly betray the trust the public should have in us.

“We currently have 13 ongoing gross misconduct investigations against officers and staff which are all subject to ongoing enquiries within our Professional Standards Department.

“Four of these are currently being criminally investigated.

“I would like our communities to know that we will continue to root out those individuals who abuse the position of trust they are in.  There is no place in policing for such individuals and we will relentlessly pursue those who do not uphold the oath and values which we, as public servants, live by.

“His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) recently made 43 recommendations to forces focused on improving standards of vetting and misconduct investigations.

“We have already worked through these recommendations and completed two formal reviews to ensure we are confident our processes and practices are effective.

“We are pleased to say that, as a result of this work, the majority of the recommendations were already in place and, of the eight that were not, there is now a clear plan in place to ensure they are adopted soon.

“In addition to this work, we are also working on a detailed, independent review of our vetting practices which will include cross reference checks on all police officers, staff and volunteers on the nationally held database.

“I am absolutely committed to identifying those who look to betray the confidence we invest in them to keep the public safe.”

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