Police ‘feel more let down than anybody’ by Sarah Everard case, says minister

Police ‘feel more let down than anybody’ by Sarah Everard case, says minister

The police feel “more let down than anybody” about the murder of Sarah EverardHome Office minister Damian Hinds has said.

Speaking to Times Radio, he said: “I think everybody is shaken by this terrible case. It is also really important to take a moment once again to pay tribute to all the men and women who serve in our policing service who feel more let down than anybody by this terrible sequence of events.

”They put themselves in danger day after day and in protection of the rest of us and they deserve our support.”

Ms Everard was kidnapped, raped and murdered by a serving police officer who used his handcuffs and warrant card to stage a fake arrest.

Referring to a public inquiry announced by Priti Patel that will look at how Ms Everard’s killer, Wayne Couzens, was allowed to remain in the police, Mr Hinds said: “It is actually more important even for them than for anyone else that this inquiry gets to the bottom of this.”

He added: “This case goes to the heart of that question of trust.”

In the wake of the killing, Dame Cressida Dick, the most senior police officer in England and Wales, said she wanted the force to regain the public’s trust and announced a review – separate to the public inquiry – of “standards and culture”.

Mr Hinds’ comments come as it was revealed almost 2,000 police workers have been accused of sexual misconduct in the past four years.

The allegations – including of rape and offences against children – are spread across 39 forces and were made against officers, special constables and PCSOs.

A Freedom of Information request found 370 allegations of assault, nearly 100 of rape and 18 child sex offences.

Channel 4’s Dispatches found 8 per cent of the claims led to a dismissal.

But two thirds led to no action against the accused.

Mr Hinds described the figures uncovered by Dispatches as a “shocking figure”.

A Home Office spokesperson said: “As the public would rightly expect, we take police integrity very seriously and have already taken steps to overhaul the police complaints and discipline systems in order to increase transparency and accountability.”