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Police chief axed after rape case blunder

PUBLISHED: 16:48 20 March 2009 | UPDATED: 16:21 25 August 2010

SACKED: Christ Jarratt.

SACKED: Christ Jarratt.

THE head of a police force has been sacked after his officers let a rapist free to go onto attack more women. Greenwich Borough commander

THE head of a police force has been sacked after his officers let a rapist free to go onto attack more women.

Greenwich Borough commander Chris Jarratt was axed yesterday (March 19) after revelations of major blunders by officers at Plumstead police station.

The Greenwich force came under fire after it was revealed police freed black cab rapist John Worboys in 2007.

They were also criticised for failing to arrest Rob Knox's killer Karl Bishop when he threatened someone with a knife two months before the murder last May.

Mr Jarratt's dismissal comes after the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) launched an investigation last Friday (13) into why Greenwich officers released Worboys after they knew about an attack nearly two years ago.

A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) said: "We can confirm Chris Jarratt will be leaving Greenwich borough, where he has been Borough Commander for two and a half years.

"Mr Jarratt has undertaken a good job in Greenwich but in common with many roles of this level, it is time for him to utilise his skills elsewhere in the Met."

Mr Jarratt told the Times: "I am obviously not going to comment on the Met's decision. I will deal with these issues.

"I am quite okay. I will find out very soon [where I will be going]. I think I will be at Greenwich for a few more weeks."

A 19-year-old student from Eltham told police at Plumstead that she was attacked by the Worboys in the back of his cab on July 26, 2007.

But Worboys, who has now been found guilty of 19 charges on scores of women, was released after questioning.

The ex-stripper claimed the young woman started hugging and kissing him to say thank you for the drive, which officers thought was consistent with CCTV footage.

They did not search his home at the time where they later found drugs he used to sedate the women.

Detectives at Plumstead police station closed her case in October 2007 claiming there was insufficient evidence to take it to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

It was not until February last year that he was arrested and charged with scores of serious sexual assaults, including that of the Eltham student.

It is believed he went on to attack at least 34 more women following his arrest in 2007.

IPCC Commissioner for London Deborah Glass said: "It is concerning that despite Met Police arresting Worboys in the summer of 2007, he went on to attack a more women. The Met has already conducted a review into the investigation. There were however very specific concerns about the investigation into the July 2007 attack."

marina.soteriou@archant.co.uk

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