Britons have been told they can challenge plainclothes officers confronting them after a London Metropolitan policeman faked a Covid lockdown breach arrest to kidnap, rape, and murder 33-year-old Sarah Everard.
During a sentencing hearing at Old Bailey on Wednesday, Prosecutor Tom Little QC told the judge that 48-year-old Wayne Couzens, who had remained silent on the last hours of Miss Everard’s life apart from admitting to her kidnapping, rape, and murder, had used his knowledge of Covid patrols to “detain by fraud” the young woman on the night of March 3rd under a fake arrest for breaking lockdown.
Couzens, a serving parliamentary and diplomatic protection officer at Scotland Yard, had presented Miss Everard with a police ID while pretending to be working undercover to stop her. He then handcuffed Miss Everard and placed her in a civilian vehicle he had rented as part of a premeditated plan to abduct a young woman before driving the 33-year-old outside of London and then raping and murdering her. Justice Adrian Fulford sentenced Couzens to a rare whole-life term in prison on Thursday.
The murder has raised questions over the Met’s vetting process and trust in police officers, with Scotland Yard telling Britons on Friday that they should challenge lone, plainclothes officers who stop them if they have doubts about the legitimacy of their actions, according to the BBC.
Scotland Yard said that people detained by lone, plainclothes or off-duty officers should feel they can ask “searching questions”, including “where are your colleagues?”, “why are you here?”, and “exactly why are you stopping or talking to me?” Members of the public have also been told that they can speak to a police operator to verify whether the officer is acting in a legitimate capacity.
If a person feels in immediate danger, they should “seek assistance — 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”, the Met said, issuing advice that paint a picture of their awareness of the lack of public trust in Britain’s police force.
There have since been calls across the political spectrum for Cressida Dick, the first female commissioner of the Met, to resign.
UK Cop Used Cover of Covid Lockdown to Kidnap and Murder Sarah Everard, Says Prosecutor https://t.co/VAFruvwJuO
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) September 29, 2021
Ben Harris-Quinney, chairman of the UK’s oldest conservative think tank The Bow Group, told Breitbart London on Thursday that London’s police under Dick’s 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”.
Mr Harris-Quinney continued: “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.”
Dick assumed her position as Britain’s most senior police officer in April 2017 despite having commanded the 2005 operation that resulted in the fatal shooting by officers of an innocent man, 27-year-old Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes.
Metropolitan police officers had repeatedly shot Mr de Menezes in the head at Stockwell tube station in South London on July 22nd, 2005, after mistaking him for a suicide bomber. The incident occurred two weeks after the July 7th London bombings and the day after an attempted series of bombings in the capital. Surveillance officers had thought the Brazilian electrician, who was on his way to work at the time of the shooting, was Hussain Osman, one of the terrorists wanted in connection with the July 22nd attempted attack.
In 2007, a jury had found Scotland Yard guilty of failings but exonerated the now-police commissioner for any personal blame related to the killing of de Menezes. However, the victim’s family had said in February 2017 that Dick could not be expected to “command public confidence” and should not be appointed to the role.
In September, the government extended Dick’s tenure for a further two years until 2024.
London police chief Cressida Dick faces 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 https://t.co/ozo9p1SJWS
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) September 30, 2021