Chief Constable: "It falls to the many to put right what has been done by the few"
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Chief Constable Ben-Julian Harrington has addressed the horrendous case of former Met PC David Carrick during a speech to new recruits today and outlined his expectations of them.
Mr Harrington said the case made him angry but determined and told the new officers "it falls to us, the many, to put right what has been done by the few".
Read his speech in full:
"Welcome to all 70 of you from intake 3/22 passing out today, and welcome to all your family and friends as they join us for the first passing out parade of 2023. Today marks the next important step in your journey with Essex Police. We are all here to celebrate your success and we’re excited to see where your careers will take you.
"Welcome also to our esteemed guests - Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Roger Hirst and His Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant Jennifer Tolhurst.
"I am immensely grateful for your participation today, Commissioner, as the elected representative of our communities in Greater Essex and Lord Lieutenant, as His Majesty’s representative for our great county.
"Today you become Essex Police officers. You have stepped forward to protect and serve, just as I did 33 years ago, to catch criminals, to protect people and to keep people safe.
"In doing this, you have placed the needs of others before your own. This is what it means to be a British police officer.
"And 2023 is a great year to start. We are making a difference. In our county, overall reported crime is down 1.3% compared to the pre-covid period. We are focussed on high-harm cases, we have expanded our Domestic Abuse teams, we are catching criminals, as we saw with the 27 year sentence handed down to a man who attacked his former partner last week.
"Keeping our society safe so that all can prosper is not a simple endeavour.
"To those who would do harm - you must be determined and relentless in your pursuit of justice. To those who are victims of crime - you must be caring and compassionate.
"To those you work with - you must be dedicated and diligent.
"And to all you meet, you must be respectful and trustworthy. You must police with consent – the consent of every member of our society, whoever they are, however they define themselves and whatever their beliefs. It will not be easy.
"Whatever you may see or hear to the contrary, the overwhelming majority of the public in Essex support you. Eight out of ten people in Essex have high levels of trust in us and I know that is something you will never take for granted.
"And judging by your proud looks today, despite the weather, I’d say our newest Essex Police officers have the support of ten out of ten of those gathered here today.
"So, work hard, use your training, stand by the oath we have taken and behave in keeping with the Code of Ethics. If you do this, I promise you will have my unwavering support and that of the brilliant colleagues and partners you will work with in the years ahead.
"I also promise your families that we will look after each other, providing you with support, training and the best possible kit to do your job.
"By the end of March 2023, there will be at least 3,755 officers and more than 2,300 police staff protecting and serving our county.
"Essex Police is the strongest it has ever been, and we are grateful to you, Commissioner, for helping us achieve this. And I would like to assure you and everyone here today that we will never take your support or that of the public for granted.
"This week, I will be frank with you, has challenged our profession and it has challenged me. When I read about the appalling criminal acts committed by a former PC, David Carrick, who served with another force, I was saddened. He claimed to serve the public, yet he used our profession and the privilege that came with it to prey on women.
"I was also angry – how could someone who swore the same oath that we have sworn, cause so much harm and hurt to so many?
"But I was also determined. Determined that his acts would neither define me, nor you, nor our proud profession. Determined that our force, Essex Police, would do all we can to make our county a no-go county for anyone who thinks – wrongly – that they can be violent or coercive towards women and girls.
"I assure you now, Essex Police has one of the toughest security vetting systems of any organisation in the UK. We turn down scores of applicants, and rightly so. I also assure you that anyone who speaks up as so many brave people did about David Carrick, they will be helped and above all, they will be believed and we will act. :
"Let me be clear – it falls to us, the many, to put right what has been done by the few. The very few, who thought they could use our profession to hide from justice and who have, as former PC Carrick found out, been proven wrong.
"New officers, when I welcomed you, I reminded you that we police with consent. This isn’t just something we say. It is real:
• If people trust us, they feel safer.
• If they trust us, they call us and give us information.
• If they trust us, they believe you in the witness box and not the person who has hurt our community.
"You are now British police officers - Essex Police Constables.
"You now share the responsibility to maintain this trust, to carry it forward on behalf of those who served before and hand it on, intact, to those who follow after.
"Remember and live by the oath you have sworn and by the words it contains: fairness – integrity – diligence – impartiality, as you strive to help people, keep people safe and catch criminals.
"Take the time to recognise your achievement, be proud of what you have achieved and the good you will do and take the time to thank those who supported. Remember this day, enjoy this day and I wish you every success in your careers.