'Utterly rotten' Met must be 'investigated' after Couzens' sentence, activist tells LBC

1 October 2021, 15:33

By Tim Dodd

The Metropolitan police system is "completely and utterly rotten" and "needs to be investigated" following Wayne Couzens' sentencing, founder of the Everyday Sexism Project Laura Bates tells LBC.

It comes as the Met Police has advised women to run away or wave a bus down if they are stopped by a lone police officer and feel in "real danger" in the wake of Sarah Everard's murder.

Speaking to Shelagh Fogarty, Ms Bates said: "It still feels incredibly frustrating to me that we are looking at an institutional, systemic problem and we are still talking about it like it's one or two bad apples."

She then commented on reports that several Met police officers are facing an investigation into allegations they shared misogynistic, racist and homophobic texts with killer cop Wayne Couzens months before he raped and murdered Sarah Everard.

"It shows that it wasn't an isolated incident. This was a cultural problem. This is a man who was said to be nicknamed 'the rapist' by colleagues. This is a man who, when he was reported to police officers for indecent exposure in the days before Sarah Everard was abducted, wasn't taken off duty.

"So we are talking about an institutional problem and we need to see that acknowledged, not police officers as they are doing today going to evermore absurd lengths to suggest that women should find new ways to protect themselves.

"Today they're talking about women flagging down busses if they don't feel safe in an interaction with a police officer.

"When are they going to stop and say this system is completely and utterly rotten and it needs to be investigated?"

Read more: Sarah Everard: Met pledges 650 new officers to protect women as killer cop jailed

Read more: Met Police: Run away and call 999 if you feel in danger when stopped by lone 'officer'

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