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Today we stand in solidarity with David Carrick's victims. No sentence will adequately convey the trauma and pain he has caused them. But we hope that his sentencing brings them the sense of justice they deserve, and signals to all police forces that police-perpetrated violence against women and girls must not be tolerated.
The criminal case against Carrick is not the only case to be answered here. The Metropolitan Police must address their failings and the fact that such horrific crimes were not only tolerated but enabled by an internal culture that disregards women and girls. Carrick used his position as a police officer to frighten his victims into silence. It is imperative that the Met speak loudly about the changes they will make to ensure all reports of police violence are taken seriously and that they follow through with these actions. They must stand accountable for the behaviour of their officers.
This is not an isolated case and the Metropolitan is not the only police force with misogynistic and sexist attitudes within its ranks. We see time and again police officers abusing their positions of power and they have been emboldened to do so through a lack of action and wilful ignorance. Police-perpetrated violence has not just been tolerated, it has been encouraged.
It's not easy to create cultural change, but it must start with a zero-tolerance approach to all acts of violence against women and girls and sexist behaviours. It is crucial that police officers who perpetrate violence against women and girls are held accountable for their actions. Those in power must take responsibility for making the changes needed to address male violence.