The Metropolitan Police is facing new shame as it emerged an officer exposed as a serial rapist could have been stopped if the force had acted sooner.
Scotland Yard announced a review of ex PC Adam Provan’s full service, and before he joined the Met, to identify potential victims, who are being encouraged to come forward.
Judge Noel Lucas KC blasted the Met as he jailed Provan, 44, for 16 years for a series of rapes spanning eight years.
Assistant Commissioner Louisa Rolfe said she was “ashamed and saddened” after the judge said the force “were more concerned with looking after one of their own” than dealing with complaints.
Judge Lucas told Provan he had displayed a “cold-blooded entitlement to sex” as he abused his position to prey on women and girls.
At Wood Green Crown Court, the judge also said 16-year-old victim Lauren Taylor may have been spared had a female police officer’s initial complaints against Provan’s behaviour been taken seriously in 2005.
Ms Rolfe said: “I feel very sad and very sorry, if that’s the case.
“We must understand have we missed opportunities and it’s quite clear from what we’ve seen already that we have let the victims down and that must never happen again.
“There is a chance and that really saddens me, we need to know the detail, we need to know what those opportunities that were missed might have meant for this case.”
The Met is attempting to root out predators within its ranks following recent scandals including Sarah Everard’s murderer Wayne Couzens, who worked in the same armed unit as another serial rapist PC David Carrick.
A review by Baroness Louise Casey, published in March, found the force to be institutionally racist, misogynist and homophobic.
The Met is working to identify if there may be further victims of Provan and said it would encourage anyone with information to come forward.
Prosecutors said Provan was obsessed with young women, had viewed teenage pornography and collected more than 700 female contacts on his mobile phone.
The Met is “looking” at contacting them, Ms Rolfe said.
Ms Rolfe said: “I understand a small number of those had contact details with them, some of them were just names, some of them contained derogatory information about women.
“I think the judge surmised that that indicated an obsession with young women and that is, of course, incredibly concerning.”
Asked if the Met will contact any of the women, she added: “If we have information that will enable us to do that, but also if anybody is concerned, then of course we are looking at what that means.
“We’ll be looking at those details and seeing what we can do.”
Judge Lucas told the court that he struggled to see any other reason for Provan having 751 names and numbers of women on his phone other than his “fascination bordering on obsession with young women”. He found the defendant met the criteria for being regarded as a “dangerous” offender.
Provan’s predatory behaviour dated back to the 1990s, and went unchecked until Ms Taylor came forward in 2016 to report she had been twice raped by him when she was 16.
Her report came 11 years after a female police officer had complained she was stalked and harassed by Provan, which resulted in words of warning.
In 2019 the officer reported to the police that he had also raped her six times between 2003 to 2005.
Following a trial Provan, from Newmarket in Suffolk, was found guilty of a total of eight rapes against the two women and jailed for 16 years with a further eight years on extended licence.
Another female officer complained in 2005 that Provan sent her “nuisance” messages, but nothing was done and the issue was dealt with “informally”, the court was told.
He also allegedly contacted a 16-year-old girl after she gave her details as a witness in 2003.
Two other women made allegations, but a rape case was not proceeded with and a sexual assault case ended in acquittal.
In 2016 Ms Taylor came forward to say Provan raped her on a blind date when she was teenager in 2010.
Provan, then 31, took her to woods, where he raped her repeatedly.
Afterwards he acted as if nothing had happened and took Ms Taylor to a McDonald’s for a milkshake before forcing her to engage in a sex act in a children’s playground.
All the offences were committed while Provan was a serving officer in the Met’s East Area Command Unit.
His first trial for the double rape of Ms Taylor ended in a hung jury but he was convicted in 2018 and jailed for nine years. The next year, he was dismissed from the Metropolitan Police.
He served three years and three months in prison – only to be released on bail 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 Provan’s earlier attacks on the female officer, were added.
Following his conviction in June, Ms Taylor said: “No amount of justice will make me forget the date from hell.
“Even though I tried my best to block it out I will never forget how scared I was when the assault took place, and 13 years later reliving my worst nightmare.”
The second victim, who has not waived her lifelong right to anonymity, told the court Provan regarded himself as “untouchable” and bragged about being a “trained killer”.
She told the court she feared he would kill her and accused the Met of failing to protect her and deal with him sooner.
Judge Lucas paid tribute to the women’s bravery and told the officer that the treatment she received from the Met was “abysmal”, adding: “I hope it never happens again. More than abysmal, it’s shocking.”
In his sentencing, Judge Lucas told Provan: “The persistence and seriousness of your offending is clear when set out in these stark terms.
“What is particularly troubling about this case is that at the time of each of the offences you were a serving police officer – someone who members of the public had an entitlement to feel was a person of the very highest trustworthiness.
“By your actions you have brought disgrace on the police force.
“What struck me about Ms Taylor’s description of your behaviour towards her was the same cold blooded and chilling entitlement to sex, and sex in your preferred manner, followed immediately by conduct as if everything was perfectly normal. You exhibited this same behaviour with (the female officer).”
Ms Rolfe said: “Both women have been enormously strong and courageous in giving evidence to the court – incredibly three times for one of the women – and ensuring Provan is now behind bars. I am so sorry for the pain and suffering he has caused them.
“We are examining Provan’s criminal and conduct history in the Met so we can fully understand whether we could have acted sooner to bring him before the courts, or have stopped him joining the police.
“This work is ongoing but we can already see there were key moments where we let women down and did not do all we could to support them. We have told the Independent Office for Police Conduct we are carrying out a review and advised them that we will make appropriate referrals.”
In an interview with the PA news agency Ms Taylor said: “I don’t feel like I’ve done anything amazing. I just feel like I’ve done what I needed to do for me.”
Of Provan, she said: “I’m angry at what he’s done to me. I’m angry about who he was. He was a police officer, and we go to them to be protected, and I wasn’t protected.
“And I’m angry for the lack of remorse that he’s shown throughout this whole process.
“The reason why I did the last retrial was because I wanted to make sure that he didn’t go out and harm anyone else.”