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The Guardian - UK
The Guardian - UK
Vikram Dodd Police and crime correspondent

The potential missed chances to stop the rapist Met PC Adam Provan

Mugshot of Adam Provan
Adam Provan, the former officer who preyed on women and girls. Photograph: Metropolitan police/PA

Allegations of wrongdoing against the predatory rapist PC Adam Provan started within weeks of his joining the Metropolitan police in February 2003.

Despite this he was kept in the force for more than 13 years, believing he was untouchable since little or no action had been taken despite repeated claims that he was a danger to women and girls.

His sentencing and imprisonment on Tuesday led to the Met listing a potential litany of missed chances and complaints against him, and pledging a full investigation.

The first claims came during his probationary period when he would have been easier to sack. The Met said in May 2003 that a 15-year-old girl (“girl 1”) made an allegation of sexual touching, which was discussed with prosecutors and led to no action.

In September that year two people reported his “overly violent and sexualised behaviour whilst growing up”. Provan was referred to occupational health, and kept within the Met.

In January 2005 the female police officer Provan was convicted of raping six times complained to her employer about threats and harassment. The Met said: “Woman 1 says she was talked out of pursuing the allegation for the sake of her own career. Provan was warned about his behaviour and told not to contact her directly.”

Five months later it was alleged Provan had contacted a 16-year-old girl “beyond what was required of her as a witness to a crime”, the Met said, adding there was no record of any action being taken.

Ten weeks after that, in October 2005, a female Met officer complained of nuisance calls, which were “attributed” to Provan’s number. The Met said this was dealt with informally. He remained in the force.

In May 2009 the female officer Provan raped got an email asking to meet. A manager in the Met told her to ignore it and consider an injunction.

In 2013 Provan met “a 17-year-old girl (girl 2) via an allegation of crime”, police said, who told him she might want to join the force. He took her on a ride in her car, and later they started a relationship and she joined the police.

Still the allegations against Provan continued. The Met said: “On 1 January 2014, in another force area, a woman reported a telephone number was pushed through her letterbox. Intelligence checks when Provan was arrested in 2016 showed this number to be his.” The Met said this incident was under review.

In June 2016 he was arrested for the rape in 2010 of the girl aged 16 who can now be named as Lauren Taylor, after she waived her right to anonymity.

Provan was not suspended, but placed on restricted duties.

Ten months later, in April 2017, “girl 2” alleged she was repeatedly raped between 2014 and 2017 during her relationship with Provan.

On 18 April 2017 Provan was suspended.

The Met said: “On 27 July 2017 Provan was charged with rape offences against Lauren Taylor, girl 1 (this matter having been reopened) and girl 2. Girl 2 withdrew from proceedings in 2018 as she was unhappy with the support she was being given and subsequently resigned from the Met.”

The trials ended with Provan not being convicted. He was retried for the attack on the 16-year-old, convicted in 2019 and jailed for nine years.

The Met added that in March 2019, the woman who first complained to police in 2005 made a formal allegation of rape. The Met said: “She did not have the confidence to do this sooner because when she reported Provan’s abuse and harassment in 2005 to managers, the allegations were not taken seriously and she was not supported.”

In 2022 Provan’s conviction for the attack on Taylor was quashed and he was released from prison.

The Met said that in February 2023 a woman (“woman 2”) alleged that Provan had sexually assaulted her when she was 17. The CPS is considering whether to bring charges.

On Tuesday 22 August Provan was jailed for 16 years, followed by eight years on licence, for eight counts of raping two victims between 2003 and 2010.

The Met said Provan passed vetting in 2003 and in 2015, despite the complaints from women against him.

It said that Provan “had a small number of complaints made against him for alleged incivility and unprofessional behaviour”, adding: “None of these were relevant to the above matters and none were substantiated. In January 2005 Provan received a written warning for leaving the station office unmanned.”

• Information and support for anyone affected by rape or sexual abuse issues is available from the following organisations. In the UK, Rape Crisis offers support on 0808 500 2222 in England and Wales, 0808 801 0302 in Scotland, or 0800 0246 991 in Northern Ireland. In the US, Rainn offers support on 800-656-4673. In Australia, support is available at 1800Respect (1800 737 732). Other international helplines can be found at

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