Sarah Everard murder: Met chief to appoint ‘anti-sleaze’ adviser – as Boris Johnson calls for change in ‘police culture’ | UK News

Prime Minister called for a change in “police culture” following the murder of Sarah Everard by a Met police officer, with the force commissioner pledging to review and appoint an “anti-sleaze” adviser independent.

Cressida Dick’s announcement came as Boris Johnson told reporters at the Conservative Party conference that there was “enormous work” to be done to restore women’s confidence in the police.

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Sarah Everard murder: how it happened

Wayne Couzens – who will spend the rest of his life in prison for the kidnapping, rape and murder of Mrs. Everard – was nicknamed “the rapist” by former colleagues because he made women very uncomfortable.

He had been charged with indecent assault in 2015 – and again a few days before the murder of Mrs. Everard.

Commissioner Dick again ruled out resignation following Conviction of Couzens, despite calls him to leave.

She said: “People will be entitled to their opinion, I have a job to do, I’m taking care of it.

“My job now is to lead the Met through tough times and restore public trust, which I am doing by bringing in someone independent to review our standards and culture.”

Writing in the Evening Standard, the commissioner also promised to appoint a “high level anti-sleaze adviser”.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson watches from the boardroom during the Conservative Party's annual conference in Manchester, Britain October 4, 2021. REUTERS / Toby Melville
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Boris Johnson, who is at the Conservative Party conference, called for a change in police culture

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Johnson said: “What we can certainly conclude from the Wayne Couzens case and what happened there is that there is a tremendous amount of work to be done to give women the confidence that they are need.

“I want to be clear: I think people should trust the police.

“I believe the police men and women across the country will be absolutely sickened by what has happened, and they will do whatever they can, and I know they are doing whatever they can, to help and reassure the public, so it is vital that the public trust the police.

“But what we need to do is do some things to make the streets safer, and we’re investing heavily in CCTV and street lighting, and that sort of thing, but we also make sure to change the culture of the police.”

Mr Johnson called for crimes to be dealt with faster and for an increase in the recruitment of female police officers, adding that up to 40% of new recruits at the Met are women.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick alongside police officers during a walkabout in Westminster, London.  Photo date: Monday, October 4, 2021.
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PM wants to see more women recruited into police forces

Downing Street said the criminal justice system has the funds to tackle violence against women and girls, but there are systemic issues that need to be addressed.

However, an attorney and author known as Secret Barrister disputed this – and claimed the delays were caused by outages in the system.

They wrote on Twitter: “The delays are caused by the decision of Boris Johnson and his colleagues to cut criminal justice to the bone.”

Mr Johnson also rejected calls for an immediate public inquiry and said investigations by the Met and the police oversight body, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), should be allowed.

The IOPC is currently investigating an “inappropriate graphic depicting violence against women” that a probation officer shared with colleagues on WhatsApp.

It also examines the conduct of five officers from three forces and a former officer, who allegedly sent discriminatory messages in 2019.

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Watch the apology from the Met Police Commissioner

Previously, the chair of the internal affairs select committee, Yvette Cooper, accused the government of “sticking its head in the sand” because of violence against women and girls.

She calls for an independent investigation into the verification process used by the Metropolitan Police when recruiting officers.

It comes after a former Met Chief Superintendent Parm Sandhu, told Sky News every police officer in the UK should be reviewed following Couzens’ conviction.

Since then, a Met officer on duty appeared in court for rape.

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“Every policeman should be re-examined”

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today program, Ms Cooper said: “Sarah Everard was murdered by someone she should have trusted, who abused her power as a police officer.

“We need a proper and independent investigation into how this could happen, how such a dangerous man could serve as a police officer for so long, why the earlier issues weren’t investigated, how he might be allowed to use guns, but also more broadly in the extent of failures in verification and protection, in culture and in attitudes towards violence against women and girls in the police .

“Where there have been serious crimes in the past that raise similar questions about the abuse of power or trust in a large institution, such as, for example, the Shipman murders, the abuse of (Jimmy) Savile or the murder of Stephen Lawrence, we had independent inquiries to uncover the truth and initiate major reform. ”



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Edward L. Robinett

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