Two Wiltshire Police officers failed to properly investigate serial rapist Met officer

By Barrie Hudson - 7 June 2024


A Gross Misconduct Hearing has upheld allegations of discreditable conduct and a failure in duties against two Wiltshire Police officers.

The hearing, chaired by an independent Legally Qualified Chair (LQC), considered allegations against 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 David Carrick – then a serving Metropolitan Police Service officer - who has since been jailed for life as a serial rapist.

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. 

One allegation was withdrawn and three were not proven.

The LQC also upheld 5 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 David 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.

“I also want to reiterate our plea to our communities – whenever you have concerns regarding a member of Wiltshire Police – please report these to us. We will take robust action against anyone whose conduct falls short of our expectations.

“We also routinely encourage all members of the Force to use an anonymous reporting tool if they have concerns regarding a colleague’s behaviour.”

The Force now has a Safe2Say Anonymous Reporting System. This is a bespoke internal reporting system which is geared to giving officers, staff and volunteers the confidence to report any wrongdoing, concerns they have or intelligence surrounding our workforce.

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