Senior police chief to be brought in to fight violence against women

·2-min read
Sarah Everard (Family handout) (PA Media)
Sarah Everard (Family handout) (PA Media)

A senior police chief will be appointed to combat violence against women and girls as part of a crackdown following the murder of Sarah Everard.

Home Secretary Priti Patel is expected to make and Monday regarding the government’s strategy on the problem, the Sunday Times reports.

A report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services, which was commissioned after Ms Everard’s murder, recommended the appointment of an officer to combat violence against women.

It comes after Wayne Couzens - who was attached to the Met’s Parliamentary Diplomatic Protection Command - pleaded guilty to Ms Everard’s murder earlier this month.

The force has since sacked Couzens and has apologised to Ms Everard’s family.

A hearing chaired by Assistant Commissioner Helen Ball dismissed Mr Couzens without notice.

It concluded Mr Couzens’ conduct “breached the standards of professional behaviour in respect of discreditable conduct”.

Ms Ball said: “Couzens has betrayed everything we, the police, stand for and following his guilty pleas and convictions I have dismissed him on Friday.

“All of us in the Met are horrified, sickened and angered by this man’s crimes.

“Sarah was a young woman who had her life cruelly snatched away from her. I know she is sorely missed by so many people and our thoughts remain with her loved ones.

“We are so profoundly sorry.”

Mr Couzens abducted Ms Everard, a 33-year-old marketing executive, when she walked home from a friend’s house in Clapham on March 3.

Mr Couzens, an armed officer who has guarded Royals and diplomats, used a hire car to kidnap Ms Everard and dumped her body in a bag normally used for building waste.

Her body was found 50 miles away in Kent woodland.

Post mortem investigations were initially inconclusive but later determined that she was killed by compression to her neck.

Ms Everard’s death sparked vigils across the country in her memory and demands for action to tackle violence against women.

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