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Home Secretary Priti Patel has launched an independent inquiry into the ‘systematic failures’ of the police following the murder of Sarah Everard in March by serving Metropolitan Police officer Wayne Couzens.
Patel announced the news at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester, today, October 5, saying Everard‘s murder has ‘exposed unimaginable failings’ within the police and that the subsequent inquiry will ‘ensure something like this can never happen again’.
‘It is abhorrent that a serving police officer was able to abuse his position of power, authority and trust to commit such a horrific crime’, Patel said, adding that the public ‘need answers’.
As per Sky News, the Home Office has said that the inquiry will be split into two parts – the first will examine Couzens’ past behaviour and conduct as well as opportunities to intervene that may have been missed by the Metropolitan Police, while the second part will take a look at any issues raised from the first, including any indicators of wider policing issues.
The Met has faced further scrutiny after it emerged that Couzens had allegations of indecent exposure made against him, even reportedly being nicknamed as ‘The Rapist’ by colleagues. Calls for Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick to resign have also intensified.
‘The public have a right to know what systematic failures enabled his continued employment as a police officer,’ Patel said, pledging to ‘toughen’ sentences for the most serious offenders.
Patel refused to name Couzens, instead referring to him as a ‘monster’.
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact the Rape Crisis England and Wales helpline on 0808 802 9999 between 12pm–2.30pm and 7pm– 9.30pm every day. Alternatively, you can contact Victim Support free on 08 08 16 89 111 available 24/7, every day of the year, including Christmas
Male Survivors Partnership is available to support adult male survivors of sexual abuse and rape. You can contact the organisation on their website or on their free helpline 0808 800 5005, open 9am–5pm Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays; 8am–8pm Tuesdays and Thursdays; 10am–2pm Saturdays
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