A former Met Police officer who “exploited” opportunities to access “vulnerable young women” has been jailed for 16 years after being convicted of multiple rapes spanning an eight-year period.
Adam Provan, 44, of Newmarket, Suffolk, was sentenced at Wood Green Crown Court for six counts of rape of a woman between 2003 and 2005, and two counts of rape of a teenage girl in 2010, all while serving as an officer in Barking and Newham.
Allegations of inappropriate behaviour date back to 2003, the Met said, when a complaint was made against Provan by a 15-year-old girl.
He was interviewed under caution in September 2003, though no further action was taken.
The same year concerns were raised by two members of the public regarding his suitability to be a police officer, due to his violent and sexualised behaviour while growing up. He was subsequently referred to occupational health professionals.
Several other allegations were subsequently made against Provan, though it was in 2016 that he was arrested for the rape of Lauren Taylor in 2010, who at the time was just 16 years old. Ms Taylor, now 29, has waived her anonymity, and so can be named.
Provan had met Ms Taylor through a friend of hers, and, having lied about his age, saying he was 22 rather than 31, took her to some woods where he raped her. He then orally raped her on the same day, in Central Park in Harold Hill.
The incidents were reported to police in May 2016, and Provan was arrested in the June, before being charged the following year.
A first trial involving the offences committed against Ms Taylor resulted in a hung jury. A retrial was held in November 2018, at which Provan was found guilty of rape and jailed for nine years. He was dismissed from the Met the following year.
He was released from prison on appeal however in February 2022. In June this year, following a third trial, he was convicted of raping Ms Taylor and the second victim, who came forward in March 2019 having first reported abuse and harassment to the police in 2005, before being sentenced earlier today, August 22, to 16 years in jail.
As part of the investigation, investigators found 751 women’s names on Provan’s phone with derogatory comments alongside. While only 50 had phone numbers, the Met said detectives are working to identify as many of these women as possible.
Anthony Metzer, KC, leading counsel for the Crown, said: “Adam Provan has shown that he was a significant danger to women whilst serving as a Metropolitan Police officer. He exploited the opportunities he had to access these vulnerable young women and perpetrate horrific rapes upon them, seemingly without fear of repercussions.
“The way Provan chose to defend himself against these allegations shows that he has no insight into these serious offences, and no remorse.
“This case further illustrates the need for vigilance in recruitment, screening and safeguarding processes within our police forces.
“I would like to add how impressive the present police team have been, who have brought Provan finally to justice.”
In her victim impact statement, Ms Taylor said: “The day I met Adam Provan changed my life forever. No prison sentence will take away the harm Adam Provan has caused me. No amount of justice will make me forget the date from hell, even when I try my best to block it out. I will never forget how scared I was when this all took place and even thirteen years later, how scary it was to be reliving my worst nightmare over, over and over.
“Finding out that Adam actually was a police officer was sickening. To think that he was meant to be a respectable man, who people could trust to help them when they are in danger, and yet people were actually in danger if they were around him. Until his status was later confirmed, I had believed this was part of a façade he had used to lure me into his trap, I couldn’t believe that he was actually a police officer.
“It took a lot of courage and strength to go to the police and tell them what took place on that day and at that time, it was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. I could never have thought or even imagined that seven years later I would be on my third retrial, to try and get the justice I previously thought I had, and know I deserve. Out of all three trials this most recent trial has been the most traumatic to say the least.
“What Provan did to me has had a massive effect on my personal life…. no amount of time helps heal what Provan has done.”
In her impact statement, the second victim said: “The effects of my relationship with Adam Provan and offences committed against me has impacted my entire adult life and my trust in police. I have lived in fear and have been afraid to go out, always worrying whether Adam would be watching me. Since I managed to break free of the relationship with Adam I have lived in constant fear and an honest fear he would kill me.”
Assistant commissioner Louisa Rolfe said: “I am sure the public will be as shocked and revolted at Provan’s offences as we are here in the Met. He abused his position as a police officer to win the trust of both these women. His actions are utterly deplorable.
“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.
“The court heard that Provan had many women’s names on his phone - detectives are working through this list to understand how they may be linked to Provan and whether there are more offences we are unaware of. We are keen to hear from anyone who can help with any information, no matter how small. Provan is a dangerous offender and we are pursuing all lines of enquiry.
“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.
“We heard in evidence that when one victim, a serving Met officer, reported allegations against Provan in 2005 these were not taken seriously. She therefore did not have the confidence to report she had been raped by him.
“We are sincerely sorry this was her experience and that she was let down by a system she trusted and was serving.
“The Met is transforming and I hope I can say with confidence her concerns would not be dismissed today. While we do not underestimate the impact of cases like this on the trust and confidence of women and girls that we are working so hard to earn, we would encourage anyone in a similar situation to report allegations.
“In the last year we have grown our professional standards teams to ensure we are robust in investigating matters at the earliest opportunity to rid the Met of those who very clearly should not be a part of policing.”
The Met Police said it is working to identify if there are further victims, and would encourage anyone with information to come forward.
It added it is reviewing Provan’s history with the Met, to identify concerns and whether action against him could have been taken sooner.