Sunday People




A DECORATED former Met officer chosen to guard members of the Royal Family today warns there could be another Wayne Couzens lurking in the shamed force.

Ricky Haruna, 46, tells of a chilling “wall of silence” through the ranks protecting the likes of Sarah Everard’s killer and serial rapist David Carrick.

Lifting the lid on her own frightenin­g experience­s at Scotland Yard during her 17-year career as a PC, she said: “I’m convinced there are still evil men like them embedded in the Met who are hiding in plain sight.

“I was trusted to guard Kate Middleton when she was dating Prince William. It was such a serious role – yet I had colleagues whose behaviour was absolutely reprehensi­ble. Why would you put these guys in such a position of power and trust?”

Her revelation­s come days after a damning report condemned the Met as institutio­nally racist, misogynist­ic and homophobic.

Baroness Casey concluded the force should be split up into smaller units if it fails to deal with its deep-rooted issues. And she called for the disbandmen­t of the parliament­ary and diplomatic protection command Couzens, 50, and Carrick, 48, both worked in.

Ricky – a former police officer of the year – told us: “Sadly, and I’ve seen it all with my own eyes. There’s a wall of silence in the Met that protects ‘MORE JUST LIKE HIM’ Evil Couzens these awful characters. You look at Carrick and the things he did. That wasn’t by chance.

“He was a repeat offender able to work unchecked and keep getting away with it. He was complained about and nothing happened – that just gave him even more confidence to carry out increasing­ly evil crimes while wearing the badge.

“It’s this culture that allows people like him and Couzens to do what they did. It starts with smaller behaviours that go unchecked and become more sinister. One minute they’re flashing and next they’re raping and murdering. That’s not an exaggerati­on – that is exactly what has happened.”

After Couzens murdered 33-yearold Sarah in 2021, it emerged fellow cops had already nicknamed him “The Rapist”. And Carrick told victims they’d never be believed because he was a policeman. Meanwhile, mumof-one Ricky, of South London, had her own battles with racism after joining the Met as a PC in 2002.

She was based at Kensington and Chelsea police station, which led to her regularly escorting Kate in public before she married William. Ricky also protected the Duke of Edinburgh and got commendati­ons for having the highest amount of arrests and detections on her patch, and for probing a complex burglary. She also caught five

ATM raiders by locking them in a cafe, gave CPR to a woman who had collapsed in the street and helped save a woman drowning in the Thames.

But back at the nick, she says she faced a “canteen culture” of toxic behaviour. Ricky said: “There was a bully-boy culture. If you didn’t fit in – if it was your colour, you’re female or homosexual – you’re gonna be the target. If you’re on an op, there’s about 30 of you on the bus. There would always be one or two picked on.

“Female officers would be called Sheila or Doris. I remember hearing one male officer saying, ‘Maybe she can look after kids while we do the arresting’. Some would refuse to work with gay colleagues. They’d be made to partner up with one of the women instead. There’d be all these alpha male officers bragging about their sex lives behind their wife’s back. It was a

‘‘ There’s a wall of silence in the Met that protects these awful characters. One minute they’re flashing and the next they’re raping and murdering. It’s exactly what has happened

shameful canteen culture. As a female, I felt invisible. I was disgusted by it.”

Recalling one briefing room incident, she claims a senior cop asked an Asian officer if he was asleep because “I can’t tell if your eyes are open or

closed”. Eventually, it all got too much and Ricky raised complaints of racism between 2010 and 2012 – only to be dismissed for gross misconduct in 2013. A senior officer she had accused of racist slurs alleged she had

defrauded an elderly woman. She was never charged and won back her job in 2015.

She appealed her dismissal and was reinstated after a tribunal in which she told how a colleague called her the N-word and how, as the only black and female officer on her patch, she was excluded from a Christmas party. She then sued for wrongful dismissal and racial harassment. The Met settled without admitting liability.

Since then, bullied officers have emailed her for advice. She said: “They’re scared to speak out. It sends the message if you complain about

discrimina­tion, you’re the problem.” Ricky left the job she loved in 2019 and runs private security firm Abandoned Vehicle Service Ltd. But she still yearns for her old career, saying: “It’s a romantic notion but I always wanted to help people.

“I was a decorated officer, I’d saved lives. I was trusted to guard Kate. I wish I could go back in a heartbeat but not while it is riddled with filth.

“Individual­s are being allowed to behave in a way that they’re destroying such an important organisati­on.”

A Met spokesman said: “The claim brought by PC Haruna has been settled by mutual agreement and with no admission of liability. Allegation­s of misconduct in her claim were fully investigat­ed. No misconduct by any officers or staff was identified.”

The Met has called for the Casey report to be a catalyst for reform.

Shadow policing minister Sarah Jones said: “The Tories’ response to police standards has always been to blame someone else. Labour will make rules on vetting, misconduct and training mandatory for every force to root out misogyny, racism, homophobia and all discrimina­tion.”

 ?? ?? PROUD TO SERVE Former PC Ricky and, left, being handed her officer of the year award
PROUD TO SERVE Former PC Ricky and, left, being handed her officer of the year award
 ?? ?? MURDERED Tragic Sarah
DAMNING REPORT Baroness Casey and Met Commission­er Sir Mark Rowley
ON DUTY Ricky protecting Kate in 2007. Below, Met beast Carrick
MURDERED Tragic Sarah DAMNING REPORT Baroness Casey and Met Commission­er Sir Mark Rowley ON DUTY Ricky protecting Kate in 2007. Below, Met beast Carrick

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