We’re accustomed to police statements in the wake of misconduct being useless. But this is crossing the line into downright dangerous!
If you haven’t been following the case of Sarah Everard, then frankly good for you — it likely means you aren’t a woman living in London who has a whole new thing to be afraid of when out walking alone.
In short, the 33-year-old was arrested in the harsh light of day, in full view of witnesses, by a Metropolitan Police officer named Wayne Couzens while she was walking home. The thing is, she hadn’t done anything wrong, and he wasn’t serving justice. He was cuffing and abducting her to sexually assault and eventually murder the poor woman.
He admitted as much in a court hearing this week. And he’ll spend the rest of his life in prison for it.
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While this is some measure of justice, it does not do anything to protect Sarah — or other women who are put in a similar position by rapists and murderers who have managed to get themselves badges.
As a police spokesperson admitted:
“The full horrific details of (Couzens’) crimes are deeply concerning and raise entirely legitimate questions. This is the most horrific of crimes, but we recognise this is part of a much bigger and troubling picture. There have been other horrific murders of women in public spaces, including the killings of Nicole Smallman and Bibaa Henry, and very recently of Sabina Nessa.”
So what should women do about it? Well, for one, they have now been encouraged to “call 999.” You know, the UK version of 911. Because if a cop is scaring you, the obvious course of action is to… call the cops. No, we aren’t even a little bit joking.
Amid calls for the resignation of commissioner Cressida Dick (above, inset), the Met Police have published a message on their website entitled, “Our response to issues raised by the crimes of Wayne Couzens.”
The public announcement encourages women who are worried male officers that are arresting them are not genuine to ask questions like “where are your colleagues?” and “why are you here?” — and if that doesn’t work they are encouraged to try “shouting out to a passer-by, running into a house, knocking on a door, waving a bus down or if you are in the position to do so calling 999.”
OK, so much to process there. First off, calling 999 is a joke in this case, buses don’t stop for random people waving them down, and there bloody were people around when Sarah Everard was abducted — they thought Couzens was a plain-clothes police officer doing his duty. Obviously they weren’t going to interfere with that.
Second, about the police officers being “not genuine”… We would remind the Met Police that Couzens was genuine. His badge was real, his job was real, his cuffs were real. He was a real cop. This wasn’t some serial killer posing, he was employed as an officer. And he could have proven it. That’s the problem!
Third, and perhaps most importantly, more than one of those suggestions could be construed by police as RESISTING ARREST! That in itself is a crime! The system is so broken, you’re encouraging innocent women to commit actual crimes? Not to mention, considering the history of police brutality on either side of the Atlantic, this kind of resisting arrest is likely to get you beaten or killed.
So… that’s your suggestion?
We wouldn’t have necessarily considered the employment of a monster like Couzens to be an offense for which Dick should have resigned. After all, this single hiring was rather below her pay grade, and people do slip through the cracks. But this radically irresponsible response seems makes it seem to us like she has no intention of providing an actual solution for the women of London.
What do YOU think of the response??
[Image via MEGA/WENN/Avalon/Metropolitan Police.]