The Metropolitan Police is investigating accusations that a serving officer raped two of his female colleagues.
The officer was reportedly not charged, and has not been suspended – but faces a misconduct hearing more than three years after the allegations were first reported.
Both women were awarded compensation, but one of them claims “we were just cast aside and not cared for”.
A joint BBC investigation with the Bureau of Investigative Journalism found that the Met is investigating whether details of the women’s allegations were leaked to the officer who has been accused.
According to the BBC, ‘Holly’ – whose name has been changed to protect her anonymity – was a junior police officer when she started a relationship with an older, more senior colleague. After a few months he became controlling and violent.
Following a night out with friends in 2013, she says he dragged her by the hair and “threw me into the dining room table and was going crazy at me”.
“I was saying, ‘please stop, you’re hurting me’.” He then hurled her against the arm of the sofa, cracking her ribs. “It was an unbelievable amount of pain. I couldn’t get my breath,” she said.
Neighbours called the police, but Holly was too afraid to report the assault. On another occasion, she says, she was raped.
‘He tried to kill me’
The male officer also had a relationship and moved in with another colleague, ‘Kate’, who says that she was raped and assaulted during the three-year relationship.
This included being “beaten up in my car” while it was parked on police premises. “He started abusing me after four months of being together,” she told the BBC. “It progressed and progressed… he tried to kill me. He threw me against a chest of drawers in the bedroom.”
She says he then “ran” at her and “pinned me to the bed and strangled me”. Kate ended the relationship soon after, and was put in touch with Holly by a mutual friend; they quickly realised that their experiences were a “carbon copy” of each other.
They both reported allegations of physical and sexual assault in 2017. The male officer denied them and, following an investigation by Essex Police, the Crown Prosecution Service decided there was not enough evidence to convict in 2019.
“It was a really bad investigation,” Holly said. She claims Essex Police “didn’t even finish taking all my allegations”. Asked why the male officer was not arrested, the force said: “There was no immediate safeguarding concern due to the non-recent nature of the allegations and the lack of contact between suspect and victims.”
Holly says she is still fearful of meeting the male officer – who did not respond to a request for comment – at work. She was awarded £17,100 compensation in 2020, after a watchdog said “police evidence indicates that you were a victim of sexual abuse”.
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) also paid £11,600 to Kate. CICA is part of the Ministry of Justice, and awards compensation to victims of sexual abuse and assault; it does not require the same standard of proof as a criminal court.
Last month, a year after CICA’s findings, the Met decided that the officer accused of rape would face a misconduct hearing. They have not set a date.
In a statement, Scotland Yard said: “We take all allegations of domestic abuse extremely seriously and it is right and proper that the full circumstances of this case should be considered at a hearing. We continue to offer welfare support and assistance to the victims in this case.”
But, despite being taken off public-facing duties, the officer has never been suspended. Holly says the way her experience was handled was horrendous.
“There was very little support, (it was) very poorly managed,” she said. “He massively controlled everything. He had his friends. He was looked after, whereas we were just cast aside and not cared for.”
The male officer was reportedly leaked details of the investigation at an early stage, allowing him to prepare his defence.
Solicitor Siobhan Crawford, who works on abuse cases, said: “The investigation and the steps taken thereafter by the Met have been completely inadequate, woeful, and let these women down.
“It has taken just so long for the Met to take any action whatsoever against this person,” she added. “And I think what that says to other victims of domestic violence is, ‘we say we’ll protect you but actually it will take years and it may all come to nothing’.”
Kate told the BBC: “I have no trust in the service I work for.”