Priti Patel launches inquiry into Metropolitan Police over its handling of killer cop Wayne Couzens

PRITI Patel today announced a landmark probe into the Metropolitan Police over its handling of killer cop Wayne Couzens.

The Home Secretary launched a new inquiry which will look at the force’s vetting of recruits in light of Sarah Everard’s murder.

Priti Patel has launched a prove into the Met's handling of killer cop Wayne Couzens


Priti Patel has launched a prove into the Met’s handling of killer cop Wayne CouzensCredit: Reuters
Couzens murdered 33-year-old Sarah Everard in a crime that shocked Britain


Couzens murdered 33-year-old Sarah Everard in a crime that shocked BritainCredit: PA

Independent investigators will examine Couzens’ behaviour and how his bosses at Scotland Yard dealt with it.

They will “establish a definitive account of his conduct leading up to his conviction as well as any opportunities missed” to stop him.

A second part of the probe will take in a wider review of the culture at the Met.

It will cover “professional standards and discipline and workplace behaviour”.

Mrs Patel said: “Recent tragic events have exposed unimaginable failures in policing.

“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.

“The public have a right to know what failures enabled his continued employment as a police officer.

“An inquiry will give the independent oversight needed to ensure something like this can never happen again.”

Her remarks came as…

During a major speech today the home secretary said she’s “redoubled” her efforts to help make women and girls feel safer.

She told the Tory conference in Manchester: “All our thoughts remain with Sarah Everard’s family and friends.

“Her murderer, whose name I will not repeat, was a monster. His explicit intention was to instil fear and terror in women and girls.

“I say this as Home Secretary, but also as a woman – such unconscionable crimes and acts of violence against women and girls have no place in our society.

“That is why I have redoubled my efforts to ensure women and girls feel safer.”

Couzens was sentenced to a whole life order for his horrific crime
Couzens was sentenced to a whole life order for his horrific crime
Met chief Dame Cressida Dick is defying calls for her to resign


Met chief Dame Cressida Dick is defying calls for her to resignCredit: Reuters

She has asked the independent police inspectorate to report back to her on vetting procedures by the end of this year.

That will include a focus on “forces’ ability to detect and deal with misogynistic and predatory behaviour”.

The results of that report will then be used to inform the wider inquiry into the Couzens case.

It will start off as a non-statutory probe, which is quicker to set up and complete but can’t compel witnesses to testify.

The Home Office said it could be upgraded to a full legal inquiry if necessary.

Boris Johnson has separately set up a cross-Whitehall Taskforce, chaired by Mrs Patel, to drive new Government action on protecting women.

During his case it emerged Couzens was nicknamed “the rapist” by ex colleagues because he gave women the creeps.

Embattled Met commissioner Dame Cressida Dick has repeatedly refused to resign despite a growing clamour for her head.

She’s ordered her own independent investigation into the force’s “standards and culture” in a bid to regain public trust.

Scotland Yard faced intense criticism after it advised women to flag down a bus if they felt threatened by a single male officer.

Couzens, 48, was given a whole life jail sentence for the abduction, rape, and murder of 33-year-old Sarah whilst a serving officer.

He used his warrant card and handcuffs to kidnap as she walked home in March under the pretext of arresting her for breaching lockdown laws.

PM pledge

The PM today pledged more officers on the streets and CCTV to “make the streets safer” for women and girls.

But he insisted more female officers are also needed, especially at senior levels, to change approaches to policing across the country.

He said: “What we also want to do is see a change in culture. One of the best ways you can see that change happen is to make sure you have more female police officers.

“I want to see those officers progress up the ranks, and attain senior positions and change the culture. There has to be a change in approach.”

Boris also said new measures are needed to tackle the “slowness” in getting sex crime and rape convictions.

He added the “inadequacy” of the justice system in this area was “cruel” and leading to widespread “frustration”.

But he insisted the solution is not to create new offences, like making misogyny a hate crime.

Boris added: “I think what we should do is prosecute people for the crimes we have on the statute book.

“If you simply widen the scope of what you ask the police to do you’ll just increase the problem.”

Policing minister Kit Malthouse admitted condition rates for rape are “disgracefully low” and apologised for them.


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