Inquiry launched into issues raised by Couzens conviction

No to Rwanda, say protestors who gather outside the Home Office Image: Twitter

Home Secretary Priti Patel has launched an inquiry to investigate the issues raised by the conviction of Wayne Couzens.

The Home Secretary said she shares the public’s concern at the appalling circumstances of the abduction, rape and murder of Sarah Everard, and that the abuse of power by a serving Metropolitan Police officer risks undermining public confidence in the police.

Home Secretary Priti 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 and an inquiry will give the independent oversight needed to ensure something like this can never happen again,” she added on October 5.

The inquiry will be made up of two parts. The first part will examine Wayne Couzens’ previous behaviour and will establish a definitive account of his conduct leading up to his conviction, as well as any opportunities missed, drawing on the Independent Office for Police Conduct’s (IOPC) investigations, once concluded.

The second part will look at any specific issues raised by the first part of the inquiry, which could include wider issues across policing – including vetting practices, professional standards and discipline, and workplace behaviour.

The inquiry will also draw on the conclusions of current investigations by the IOPC into various allegations and incidents throughout Couzens’ career.

In addition, the Prime Minister will launch a Home Secretary-chaired taskforce to drive cross-government action on tackling violence against women and girls to help maintain public confidence in policing. It will consider recommendations from the Inspectorate’s review of the police’s response to violence against women and girls, led by Zoe Billingham, as well as the tackling violence against women and girls strategy, the end-to-end rape review, and the forthcoming domestic abuse strategy.

The IOPC is currently conducting a number of investigations into matters linked to Wayne Couzens. These include the handling of allegations of indecent exposure by Kent Police in 2015 and the Metropolitan Police in 2021.

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Written by

Deirdre Tynan

Deirdre Tynan is an award-winning journalist who enjoys bringing the best in news reporting to Spain’s largest English-language newspaper, Euro Weekly News. She has previously worked at The Mirror, Ireland on Sunday and for news agencies, media outlets and international organisations in America, Europe and Asia. A huge fan of British politics and newspapers, Deirdre is equally fascinated by the political scene in Madrid and Sevilla. She moved to Spain in 2018 and is based in Jaen.

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