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SARAH EVERARD LATEST: No more solo plain clothes officers as Couzens is sentenced

SARAH EVERARD LATEST: No more solo plain clothes officers as Couzens is sentenced

Image : Family Handout/CPS/PA Media


The Metropolitan Police have announced they will not deploy plain clothes officers on their own, following the sentencing of Wayne Couzens for the murder of Sarah Everard.

Deputy Commissioner Sir Stephen House said: “We will not operate plain clothes officers on their own. If we do use them, they will be in pairs.”

He said there will be “occasions” where that is not possible – such as when a pair of officers are split up – and noted that off-duty officers not in uniform “put themselves on duty” when they come across an incident.

Sir Stephen House acknowledged that a warrant card may not be enough to convince all members of the public that the holder is a legitimate police officer.

He went on: “Producing a warrant card and saying ‘I’m a Metropolitan Police officer’ may not be enough in certain circumstances.

“We are instructing our officers, the policy going forward will be that they must facilitate a greater trust.

“If that is, if necessary, by allowing phone calls to be made to our control room, so that the officer can show the warrant card and the person in the control room can say ‘yes, Steve House is a police officer and his warrant number – which will be on the warrant card – is as follows’.

“That should be enough to confirm identity, we believe. We know we have to go further to achieve trust and to prove identity of plain clothed officers.

“And we are prepared and keen to do that.”

Women police officers are afraid to report their male colleagues for misconduct due to fears they will be abandoned if they need help, a former senior officer has said.

Following the jailing of Wayne Couzens for the murder of Sarah Everard, Parm Sandhu, a former chief superintendent in the Metropolitan Police, said she had been “vilified” when she raised concerns about the way she was treated.

“The police service is very sexist and misogynistic. A lot of women will not report their colleagues,” she told BBC Radio 4’s The World At One.

“What happens is that male police officers will then close ranks and the fear that most women police officers have got is that when you are calling for help, you press that emergency button or your radio, they’re not going to turn up and you’re going to get kicked in in the street.

“So you have got to be very careful which battles you can fight and which ones you can actually win.”

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