Met Police: Women’s charity Refuge places 1,071 ‘bad apples’ outside New Scotland Yard

“Perpetrators of domestic violence have absolutely no part to play in our society, let alone the police force.”

Women’s charity Refuge has placed 1,071 bad apples outside the Met Police headquarters amid shock over the David Carrick rape case.

Staff and survivors of domestic violence staged the stunt to highlight fears more abusers could be going unchecked within the force. - with the apples representing officers who are or have been investigated for allegations of violence against women and girls (VAWG).

Historic allegations are under review and mayor Sadiq Khan said commissioner Sir Mark Rowley “assured” him individuals like Carrick would no longer pass vetting checks.

Chief executive Ruth Davison said: “We don’t believe the story anymore that it’s just one bad apple or two bad apples here and there.

“There is a fundamental cultural problem of violent misogyny across policing that is allowing criminals like David Carrick to carry on committing abhorrent crimes with seeming impunity.

Women’s charity Refuge has placed 1,071 ‘bad apples’ outside the Met Police HQ in London. Photo: LondonWorld

“We are not feeling safe as women and girls because we are not safe until policing is safe.”

Ruth added: “We know some people are attracted to these jobs because of the power and authority that they give; because of the ability to carry a weapon; because of the ability to say to women: ‘I’m a police officer, no one will believe you.’

“We were warned this week by the home secretary to expect more cases like this to emerge.

Services director Abigail Ampofo. Photo: LondonWorld

“They are endemic within the Met and policing nationally because they have been allowed to carry on. There is a culture that allows these officers to thrive.”

Services director Abigail Ampofo added: “The incidents that have come to light this week have been utterly horrific but they’re not a one off.

“It is completely unacceptable and this is not the first time that we’re hearing such things.”

Ambassador Wendy Turner-Webster. Photo: LondonWorld

She said: “We are able to get women to talk to us who are disclosing that their perpetrators are members of the police force, the people who are tasked with protecting us as the public.

“We need the Met to be accountable, to show leadership, to understand VAWG and misogyny and not to just give us platitudes but to take action that shows they understand.”

And she added: “There is a whole VAWG sector who are experts in supporting women and girls but this isn’t our problem to solve, it’s the police’s problem.

Refuge chief executive Ruth Davison. Photo: LondonWorld

“We are absolutely there to give guidance, direction and support but don’t lean on us to be your solution.”

Refuge ambassador and TV presenter Wendy Turner-Webster said she was “extremely concerned”.

She told LondonWorld: “I’m absolutely horrified - it’s truly scandalous. Perpetrators of domestic violence have absolutely no part to play in our society, let alone the police force.

“Specific changes need to be made to vetting checks which seem to have so many flaws and be unworkable. Whatever system it is now has to be torn apart and started again.”

Refuge has penned an open letter to Suella Braverman, home secretary.

The charity is calling for:

  • Immediate suspension of officers or staff with domestic abuse or VAWG allegations;
  • Zero-tolerance approach to police perpetrated domestic abuse or VAWG incidents;
  • Fast-tracking laws to improve vetting and disciplinary standards across all forces;
  • Mandatory VAWG training for all police, developed with the specialist VAWG sector.
Wendy Turner-Webster, left, and Ruth Davison. Photo: LondonWorld

The stunt saw hundreds of apples painted to look rotten placed in a brown sheet, with a sign reading: “1,071 bad apples. How many more?”

Staff at the charity told LondonWorld they had been shocked by the incident.

It was revealed earlier this week that Carrick had deployed his warrant card to impress women, before threatening them no one would believe his violence.

Following Carrick’s conviction, Met commissioner Sir Mark Rowley said the force had failed in two respects.

"We failed as investigators where we should have been more intrusive and joined the dots on this repeated misogyny over a couple of decades,” he said.

He promised "reform at speed” in the force.

A Home Office spokesperson said: “The home secretary has been clear that culture and standards in the police need to change. Those who commit heinous acts such as domestic abuse have no place in policing and must be rooted out.

“To support forces in addressing these issues, we have already committed to providing up to £3.3 million through the ‘tackling domestic abuse plan’ to fund the rollout of Domestic Abuse Matters training to police forces.”

For more information, visit the Refuge website. If you or someone you know needs help, contact Refuge’s free 24-hour helpline on 0808 2000 247.