How many more predators in the Met? New heat on police chief to root out sex offenders

The Met is facing renewed calls to root out “monsters” within its ranks and radically improve its response to crimes against women and girls as its latest rapist officer faced the prospect of further charges.

Adam Provan was jailed on Tuesday for 16 years for twice raping a 16-year-old girl and six rapes of a female former Met colleague in a case which revealed that his force had missed eight opportunities to stop him.

Prosecutors are considering whether to charge him over a further alleged rape, of a 17-year-old girl, and Scotland Yard has appealed for any other victims to come forward.

The trial judge, Noel Lucas KC, said the case had “brought disgrace” on the Met. He condemned the force for its “abysmal” response to complaints by the female officer victim about Provan, 44, saying that it had been more interested in “looking out for one of their own”.

Met Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley on Wednesday faced intensified demands to deliver his promised clean-up of the force. London’s victims’ commissioner Claire Waxman said that “for too long, the processes and culture of the Metropolitan Police protected and enabled predators, allowing their own officers to be victimised”.

She added: “The case of Adam Provan demonstrates, once again, how vital it is that the Metropolitan Police reform and rebuild the trust and confidence with women and girls, including within their own ranks, as quickly as possible.

“It highlights that there can never be complacency in responding to abuse and that all allegations of so-called ‘lower-level’ offences must be taken seriously at the time they are made. It shouldn’t take multiple victims to stop predatory behaviour and secure a conviction. I will be calling on the Met to review this case and ensure the learning is used to radically improve their response to women and girls.”

Former Met superintendent Nusrit Mehtab said she feared the Met was continuing to fail to protect women in its ranks, despite Sir Mark making “the right noises” on cleaning up its culture. “The Met has failed to get rid of monsters and rapists,” she told Sky News. “The Met should have got rid of Provan many years ago — in fact he shouldn’t have been allowed to come in. I get angry because you are not listening to women… so it’s not surprising but infuriating how we are letting our victims down.

“Policing and in particular the Met doesn’t seem to get its head around the fact that as a profession it has the ability to attract monsters and predators. You give them a uniform, they are left to work independently, and the recruitment should be able to stop these people getting in. Once they get in… there’s no processes or systems to see these red flags.”

Provan, 44, from Newmarket in Suffolk, was sentenced at Wood Green crown court. The former Pc’s trial heard that his predatory behaviour dated back to the 1990s and went unchecked until his 16-year-old victim, Lauren Taylor, who has waived her right to anonymity, came forward to report how he had raped her twice in 2010.

Lauren Taylor, who has waived her right to anonymity, at New Scotland Yard (PA)
Lauren Taylor, who has waived her right to anonymity, at New Scotland Yard (PA)

Provan had already repeatedly raped a female police officer between 2003 and 2005 and terrorised her so she feared for her life.

Provan was initially convicted of raping Ms Taylor in 2018 and jailed for nine years after an earlier trial ended with a hung jury. He was dismissed from the Met and served three years and three months in prison but was released after the Court of Appeal ordered a retrial.

At the fresh trial, Ms Taylor gave evidence for a third time and six more charges of rape, relating to attacks on the female officer, were added. In June, Provan was found guilty of a total of eight rapes against the women.

Scotland Yard assistant commissioner Louisa Rolfe said she was “revolted” by Provan’s crimes and admitted that the Met had “let women down” as she apologised to his victims.