London police officer charged with rape

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A London police officer has been charged with rape, the force announced on Sunday, just days after another officer was convicted of the rape and murder of a woman in a case that has rocked the country.

Police Constable David Carrick, 46, is due in court on Monday, having been arrested on Saturday and suspended the same day, said London Metropolitan Police.

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The news of Carrick's arrest was announced as the government and the police are still trying to deal with the fallout from the conviction of 48-year-old Wayne Couzens.

Couzens was jailed Thursday for the rest of his life after falsely arresting Sarah Everard on the pretence she had broken coronavirus restrictions, then raping and murdering her.

Both Carrick and Couzens worked for the London police unit responsible for protecting parliament and diplomats. Over the weekend, the Met confirmed that Couzens had been approved for armed patrols of parliament on five occasions last year.

The head of the London Metropolitan Police, Commissioner Cressida Dick, said she was “deeply concerned” at the news of the arrest and charging of Carrick.

“I fully recognize the public will be very concerned too,” she added. “Criminal proceedings must now take their course so I am unable to comment any further at this stage.”

Social media has been flooded with posts from women relating their own experiences of harassment and assault and calling for firmer political action to protect women.

The London force -- Britain's biggest -- has been widely criticized for advising women to flag down a passing bus if they are stopped by an officer they do not trust.

But British Prime Minister Boris Johnson backed that advice in a BBC interview.

“My view is that the police do -- overwhelmingly -- a wonderful job,” he said, calling on “women of all ages to trust the police”.

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