Calls From Left and Right for Police Chief to Step Down After London Rape-Murder Officer Jailed

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 29: Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick reads a statement to the media at the Old Bailey on September 29, 2021 in London, England. Wayne Couzens, 48, is handed a whole life order for the kidnap, rape and murder of Sarah Everard, 33, meaning he will …
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London chief of police Cressida Dick is facing calls to step down after one of her officers, a firearms specialist known to his friends on the force as “The Rapist”, was jailed for using his police powers to wrongly arrest a woman before raping and murdering her.

The culture of policing in the London force was called into question over revelations made during the trial of Police Constable Wayne Couzens, a diplomatic and parliamentary protection firearms officer whose attitude towards women led to him being nicknamed “The Rapist” by fellow officers.

That the Metropolitan police failed to prevent one of their own from killing — and their heavy-handed shutdown of a vigil for victim Sarah Everard under the pretext of lockdown rules afterwards — has damaged the credibility of the force in the eyes of some and has led to calls for its chief to step down.

The calls for Dame Cressida Dick, who recently had her term as Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis extended to 2024 by the government, to resign over an officer under her command using his police identification and lockdown powers to rape and kill have come from both sides of the political spectrum.

The longest-serving female Member of Parliament in Britain’s House of Commons, Harriet Harman QC — who has held several government offices in previous Labour administrations — said “women’s confidence in the police will have been shattered” and said it was not possible for Dick to lead the reforms to rebuild confidence in the force.

Writing to the Commissioner herself, Harman said Dame Cressida should resign to “enable” change. In a separate letter to Home Secretary Priti Patel, of the Conservative Party, Harman outlined what changes she had in mind, including suspending all officers with an outstanding “allegation of violence against a woman” and scrutinising the attitudes of new police recruits towards “violence during sex”.

Harman also said that there should be new rules that would make officers not reporting fellow officers for allegations of violence towards women a dismissable offence.

Ben Harris Quinney, chairman of Britain’s oldest conservative think-tank, the Bow Group, also called on the top cop to quit, saying London police were demonstrating a propensity to be “soft on criminals and hard on the public”. He told Breitbart London:

Cressida Dick has been in post for four years, and in that time faith in the police force and trust in the police force has hit rock bottom.

The police under her leadership appears far more interested in taking the knee, attending LGBT lobby pride parades, enforcing mask mandates, and policing social media than they do in preventing actual crime… London’s knife crime epidemic continues, serious fraud is skyrocketing, and now a member of the police force has used the guise of excessive lockdown powers to brutally murder a young woman.

If Priti Patel is serious about getting tough on crime rather than woke nonsense, she needs to show Cressida Dick the door and get someone into post that can set the police force back in the direction of arresting criminals rather than decent citizens.

Brexit mastermind and former Boris Johnson advisor Dominic Cummings also weighed in on Dame Cressida’s position, taking a much broader view on the situation and Dick’s significance as a member of the “permanent bureaucracy” class — i.e. a member of the deep state — that the government had failed to remove when given the opportunity to do so.

Tory Home Secretary Priti Patel, for her part, has been circumspect on the issue, perhaps out of a wish to avoid drawing attention to the fact that she extended Dick’s contract only earlier this month.

Whether Patel thought Dick was actually a good police chief or not at the time she agreed to extend her employment is unclear, as it was claimed then that the choice was based more on the low quality of would-be replacements.

Speaking Thursday, Patel remarked only that she would continue to work with Dick, saying: “there are important questions… the conduct of that serving officer and the conduct of policing more broadly. So I will continue to work with the Metropolitan Police and the Commissioner to hold them to account as everyone would expect me to.”

London Police Constable Wayne Couzens was given a rare whole-life sentence on Thursday, meaning — barring the action of future governments — he will die in prison. The court heard this week that Couzens had used his knowledge of the coronavirus lockdown rules and procedures to target a lone woman at night, who he ‘arrested’ on the pretext of being out in contravention of lockdown. Using his police warrant badge and handcuffs, Couzens took Sarah Everard, who was walking home, into his car and drove her to a remote spot.

Once at the rural location, Couzens raped, killed, then burnt Everard. He confessed to the killing but has not given a full account of his actions, meaning Sarah’s family still do not have a full picture of her final hours.

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