DAMAGED TRUST: Dame Cressida Dick faces reporters as calls are made for her resignation
Image from David Parry/PA Wire
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick said Wayne Couzens had brought “shame” on the Metropolitan Police and branded him a “coward”.
Speaking to reporters following his sentencing for the rape and murder of Sarah Everard, she said: “I am absolutely horrified that this man used his position of trust to deceive and coerce Sarah and I know you all are too.
“His actions were a gross betrayal of everything policing stands for.”
Dame Cressida Dick added: “He showed himself to be the coward he is through his lies and seeking to minimise his true responsibility for his crimes.
“Police officers are here to protect people. To be courageous and compassionate. His actions were the exact opposite of that.”
Speaking outside the Old Bailey, Dame Cressida Dick said she recognised the “brutal” murder of Sarah Everard by officer Wayne Couzens had damaged trust in the police.
She said: “This man has brought shame on the Met. Speaking frankly as an organisation, we have been rocked.”
She went on: “I absolutely know that there are those that feel their trust in us is shaken. I recognise that for some people, a precious bond of trust has been damaged.”
Dame Cressida added: “As Commissioner I will do everything in my power to ensure we learn any lessons.
“I know that what happened to Sarah, and what has happened to other women in London and beyond in recent times, has raised important questions about women’s safety.
“Here in the Met I commit to keep working with others to improve women’s safety and reduce the fear of violence.
“There are no words that can express the fury and overwhelming sadness that we all feel about what happened to Sarah. I am so sorry.”
When asked if Dame Cressida Dick should resign, Home Secretary Priti Patel said:
“I think first of all there are important questions and questions that I’ve been asking and challenges, we have to be honest about this, in particular to this case, but also the conduct of that serving officer and conduct of policing more broadly.
“So, I will continue to work with the Metropolitan Police and the Commissioner to hold them to account as everybody would expect me to do, and I will continue to do that.”
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