Source: Mayor of London
Commenting on the announcement of a full inquiry into the Couzens case and wider police culture, Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London said:
“The horrific murder of Sarah Everard by a serving police officer has shattered public confidence in the police. That trust has been further eroded by the news of another officer being charged with rape as well as reports of sexism, misogyny, racism and homophobia amongst some groups of officers.
“Over recent days, I’ve been in detailed discussions with the Home Secretary about how we must urgently do everything necessary to rebuild trust and confidence in the police – in London and across the country. We agreed that the gravity of the situation required no less than a proper inquiry.
“This inquiry must leave no stone unturned to ensure that the failures that led to a serving police officer killing Sarah Everard can never happen again. And while I know the vast majority of officers are decent and dedicated public servants, the inquiry must also address reports of widespread cultural issues. All police officers must adhere to the highest possible standards, we must stamp out misogyny, sexism, racism and homophobia, root out those who abuse their trusted position as officers, and ensure that tackling violence against women and girls is treated with the highest priority.
“There is no time to waste. So while this inquiry moves ahead, I’ll continue to hold the Met to account so that we start to see the changes we need right now – both to rebuild trust in the police and to make our country safer for women and girls.”
Sadiq wrote to the Home Secretary on Friday to ask to work with her to hold the Met Police and Commissioner to account to restore public trust and address the serious failings revealed by Sarah Everard’s murder and wider reports of deep-seated cultural problems in the Met and police forces across the UK. In that letter he was clear that a response on a similar scale to that seen following the murder of Stephen Lawrence was needed.
After the Mayor was informed on Sunday evening that another Met Officer had been arrested and charged with rape he asked for an urgent phone call that evening with the Home Secretary where they agreed on the gravity of the situation and level of response needed. The Mayor and Home Secretary spoke again on Monday and agreed that a full inquiry was now necessary to address failings and restore public trust.