The Metropolitan Police has issued advice for women who fear a police officer may not be genuine following revelations about the kidnap and murder of Sarah Everard.
The Met police published its guidance for members of the public in the wake of the revelation, titling the page, ‘Metropolitan Police: Our response to issues raised by the crimes of Wayne Couzens.’
The Met stresses that it is ‘unusual for a single plain clothes police officer to engage with anyone in London’, but if it does happen, you should ‘expect to see other officers arrive shortly afterwards’.
In the event you find yourself alone with an officer, it is ‘entirely reasonable for you to seek further reassurance of that officer’s identity and intentions’ by asking questions such as ‘Where are your colleagues? Where have you come from? Why are you here? Exactly why are you stopping or talking to me?’
Members of the public who are concerned about an officer are advised to ‘seek some independent verification of what they say’, for example by asking to hear or speak to the operator of the police radio if they are carrying one, and asking them to verify the officer in question is genuine.
Officers are said to ‘expect to be asked more questions’ given the disturbing revelations made in Couzens’ sentencing, but if you feel you are in ‘real and imminent danger and you do not believe the officer is who they say they are’, members of the public are advised to seek assistance by shouting to a passerby, running into a house, knocking on a door, waving down a bus or calling 999.
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