Police forces across the country will have to work “much harder” to win back public trust after the murder of Sarah Everard by a serving Met officer, a minister has said.
Policing minister Kit Malthouse said the case had struck a “devastating blow to the confidence that people have in police officers”, and he warned thousands of officers will need to do more so trust can be rebuilt.
Wayne Couzens was handed a whole life sentence on Thursday for the kidnap, rape and murder of the 33-year-old marketing executive.
The Met said it will no longer deploy plain clothes officers on their own after the Old Bailey heard Couzens had used lockdown rules and shown his warrant card to falsely arrest Ms Everard during the abduction.
The force advised anyone who is concerned a police officer is not acting legitimately during an interaction to ask where the officer’s colleagues are; where they have come from; why they are there; and exactly why they are stopping or talking to them.
They said anyone could verify the police officer by asking to hear their radio operator or asking to speak to the radio operator themselves, and also suggested people who are concerned can shout out to a passer-by, run into a house, knock on a door, wave a bus down, or call 999.
There was an outpouring of anger at the comments, with the idea being roundly criticised.
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