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  • Writer's pictureS Jilani

Reform the UK Police System

On the 3rd of March a Met Police officer by the name of Wayne Couzens murdered 33-year-old Sarah Everard as she was walking home from a friends house. On Thursday the 30th of October, a whole 7 months later, he was sentenced to life in prison for his crimes after he was found guilty of abduction and rape as well as murder. The response from the Met Police after these revelations were made is what boils my blood. As questions have been raised in the past about the safety of women surrounding men in general, we now have to add a fear of police men into the mix. The people who are meant to be out on the streets protecting us from harm are now ones we fear.

An interview held with a former senior Metropolitan Police chief superintendent said every police officer in the UK should be re-vetted. During an interview on the first day of the Conservative Party conference in Manchester, Boris Johnson dismissed the idea of re-examining the current police officers but instead backed the idea from the Met Police that if women are stopped by an officer that they do not trust, they are to 'wave down a bus' in order to get help. Other advice given was to shout, knock on doors and dial 999 - call police, who we don't trust, about an officer who we also do not trust. They (the Met) also suggested to resist arrest if you're unsure as to why its happening. Okay, so number 1, resisting arrest is against the law ( so they're suggesting we break the law to get help, makes sense) and number 2, if you happen to be an individual that isn't Caucasian, resisting or even questioning your arrest could get you killed (racism within the police system, but that's an issue for another blog)!

They have suggested all these rules for us women, but have mentioned nothing about reforming the policing system from the inside itself, or about reforming the hiring and disciplinary procedures in place to ensure that those who wear the badge and are on the streets won't repeat the actions of Wayne Couzens and many more policemen before him, as this isn't the first time something like this has occurred. Since 2010, there have been 750 police officers that have faced sexual misconduct allegations and only 83 of them were charged and removed from the force.

Furthermore, 2 of the officers that were in a group chat with Sarah Everard's murderer, where they shared racist and misogynistic content, are still on duty.

The response from the Met has further solidified the idea that when it comes to crimes police officers have conducted, the blame and responsibility of the actions is thrown back to the victims with the 'you could have done this' etc mentality and failing to hold the individuals like Sarah's murderer accountable for their actions.

The failure of the Met and the government for that matter, to properly address and rectify the situation is just leading to the public further undermining the trust of the police and increasing the fears that if someone were to come forward, their attacker could go back to work, receiving nothing more than a slap on the wrist.

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