The Met needs to accelerate investigations into sexual abuse by officers

Data requested by Liberal Democrat London Assembly Member Caroline Pidgeon has shown that 1,409 Metropolitan police officers remain under investigation for sexual abuse as part of Operation Onyx.

The operation was begun by the Met in January 2022 following public outcry over the appalling case of David Carrick, who raped and sexually assaulted twelve women over 17 years while serving as a Met officer. It will review all completed sexual offence or domestic abuse cases from the last 10 years involving serving Met officers or staff where the allegation did not result in a dismissal at the time.

According to the data, of the 1,636 officers identified by Operation Onyx, 136 have now left the Met through resignation, retirement or dismissal, while 91 have been assessed as requiring no further action.

However, one year after the operation began, the vast majority of officers identified (the remaining 1,409 individuals) remain under live investigation and are being “risk managed”, “prioritised for re-investigation” or being referred into the Met’s vetting review process, named Operation Assure.

Commenting, Caroline Pidgeon said:

“These figures only go to show the scale of the level of reform that is needed at the Met.

“The Baroness Casey review should have been a watershed moment for rebuilding trust in the Met, especially among women and girls, yet with over 1,400 officers still under investigation for sexual abuse, progress has clearly been limited so far.

“Based on the number of cases that reached a conclusion in the last year, it would take a further six years at the current rate to clear all remaining 1,409 cases. This simply isn’t fast enough.

“It is vital that the reform efforts of the Met are properly resourced, including by the Mayor of London in his upcoming annual budget.”

Read more in the Evening Standard.