A former police officer, who said he was sexually assaulted by a colleague, claimed during the investigation that attempts were made to “light a kerosene lamp” and “bury” the complaint.
Rhianon Argent said she was sexually assaulted by a deputy sergeant in a police car while working as a police officer in Hampshire. He was given an official written warning following the misconduct hearing.
He said the 35-year-old force, who left the agency in 2013, has a “boys club” culture that means criminals are given “second, third and fourth chances”, and that some men are interested in the role. “the thirst for power and control”.
His comments came after Met Officer David Carrick pleaded guilty to 49 charges, 24 of which were rape, against 12 women over an 18-year period.
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley said poor policies and decisions meant that Carrick could remain in office for 20 years, despite repeated complaints against him. The Met is currently investigating 1,000 allegations of sexual and domestic abuse involving nearly 800 of its officers.
Ms Argent claims that after giving a lengthy video interview about her ordeal, a police inspector in the professional standards department finished by saying, “Now I’ll tell you you lied about this whole thing.”
“That inspector was looking for a way to bury the investigation,” he said. “He wanted to shut me up. He said I was lying to give me gas and encourage me to drop everything.”
The former police officer had made his allegations before. Independent He explains that in 2021, he was traumatized by this experience.
He said he was “scared” by the police officers investigating the complaint and that text messages from him had been deleted from his phone.
Ms Argent argued that more focus should be placed on investigators who allow abusers to go unpunished by making “bad decisions”.
“Who are these decision makers, sitting there making dangerous decisions to keep officers in business – giving them second, third and fourth chances,” he said.
Police officers accused of sexual and domestic violence should face criminal investigations rather than internal investigations and be subject to greater scrutiny from the public for being role models, he continued.
Ms Argent, who now works in the domestic violence industry, added: “There are these connections and there is a sense of a police family, but it’s corrupt because everybody is looking at each other. It’s: ‘You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours’. It’s just a big boys club.”
Ms Argent explained that the inappropriate behavior she encountered was not a one-off. While working the night shift, male police officers regularly turned their chairs and asked him sexually explicit questions.
“They would start asking me questions about my sex life and masturbation with my boyfriend back then. It makes you uncomfortable. You make me nervous. I remember telling my boyfriend at the time about it and taking sick leave. IT.
“I had already been sexually assaulted at the time. It was widely known that I had been assaulted and reported it. That was even more frightening. The guys who talked to me on the night shift gave it to the guy. The guy who nicknamed me ‘hands’.”
A spokesperson for Ms Argent’s former police force said the case was “at the time being thoroughly investigated by our Occupational Standards Department, and the male officer was facing a malfeasance hearing and received a formal written warning”.
The representative said they have “robust systems” to combat “abuse of position for sexual gain”.