Wayne Couzens: Met faces backlash for telling women to flag down a bus if they are in danger


The Metropolitan Police has come under fire after it told women to flag down a bus if they feel they are in the presence of a homicidal police officer.

In light of the Sarah Everard case, people are outraged over the Met’s “clueless and disgraceful” advice to wave at a bus to stop, knock on a door, run into a nearby house, shout for help or to call 999 for further assistance.

It comes after serving police officer, Wayne Couzens was sentenced to a whole life order (life imprisonment) at the Old Bailey on Thursday (September 30) for the murder, rape and kidnap of 33-year-old Sarah Everard on March 3. This means he will die in jail.

READ MORE: Met Police issue advice to women approached by lone police officer in London

Wayne Couzens
Wayne Couzens will be in prison for life

Couzens used his police warrant card and handcuffs to abduct his victim off the street.

She would have likely sat through an 80-mile journey from South London to Kent.

At some point, he raped and strangled Sarah with his police belt, then burnt and dumped her body in the middle of the countryside.

The horrific event has raised serious questions over the Met’s hiring, vetting processes, and culture towards misogyny, with many calling for better policing towards women and other marginalised communities and for Met Police chief, Dame Cressida Dick, to resign from her role.

Cressida Dick Commissioner of the Metropolitan police

One person, journalist Faima Bakar, wrote on Twitter: “Bus drivers can look you dead in the eye and drive off even if you’re AT a bus stop. You think they’re gonna stop if you’re looking distressed anywhere else?”

While another, Nadine Batchelor-Hunt, said: “Of course, because we’ve never thought of any of this ourselves. Shocking how the Met are putting the responsibility of handling rogue officers onto the victims instead of reforming themselves and reviewing their powers.”

Nazir Afzal, a former chief prosecutor, has urged ministers to focus on the mistrust women feel towards the police, and that tackling male violence, taking responsibility and ordering an independent inquiry into misogyny should be major priorities.

A couple who unknowingly witnessed the kidnapping of Sarah assumed Couzens was an undercover police officer who was arresting her “because she had done something wrong”.

Prosecution barrister, Tom Little QC, told a court on Wednesday (September 29): “They were in fact witnessing the kidnapping of Sarah Everard. She was detained by fraud.”

Part of the Met’s statement reads: “We expect the best of our officers and when they fall below our standards they undermine the public’s trust in us.

“Couzens’ crimes are the most extreme example of this betrayal. They have been shattering for everybody and of course people have questions about the integrity of officers.

“We only want the best of the best in the Met and we will always act when our employees fall below the standards we and the public expect and erode the trust we depend upon.

“All officers must and will now expect to work harder to gain the confidence of the public and be understanding and tolerant of reasonable questioning of their actions and identity as they go about their duty to protect Londoners. “

For more news from across the capital, head to our My London homepage.





Source link