Twelve officers investigated in relation to Sarah Everard killer Wayne Couzens' case

9 July 2021, 13:11 | Updated: 9 July 2021, 13:32

Couzens pleaded guilty to Ms Everard's murder
Couzens pleaded guilty to Ms Everard's murder. Picture: Met Police

By Will Taylor

A dozen police officers are being investigated for matters relating to the case of Sarah Everard's killer Wayne Couzens.

The Metropolitan Police officer pleaded guilty to her murder on Friday.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said it had "served a total of 12 gross misconduct or misconduct notices on police officers from several forces as we continue to investigate matters linked to the conduct of PC Couzens".

The IOPC said an investigation looked at how Couzens received head injuries while he was in custody on 10 and 12 March is under way. By then, Couzens had been arrested on suspicion of murdering Ms Everard.

Read more: Sarah Everard: Met Police officer Wayne Couzens pleads guilty to murder

It said it is "nearing conclusion" and the officers involved have been treated as witnesses.

It is also investigating "alleged (Metropolitan Police) failures to investigate two allegations of indecent exposure linked to PC Couzens in London in February 2021… two officers are being investigated for possible breaches of professional standards at misconduct level".

The authority is also looking into allegations that a probationary police constable in the Met shared an inappropriate graphic with colleagues on social media.

They later manned a cordon as the search for Ms Everard took place, the IOPC said, and three officers have been served with gross misconduct notices.

An investigation has also been launched into allegations that officers from a number of forces breached professional standards while sharing information linked to Couzens' prosecutions by using a messaging app.

"One officer has been served with a gross misconduct notice and another six have received misconduct notices," the IOPC said.

The notices do not necessarily mean that disciplinary proceedings will follow.

Nine other conduct referrals in relation to Couzens were made by the Met, but they have been sent back for "local investigation" by the force.

IOPC Regional Director Sal Naseem said: "Our sympathies remain with the family of Sarah Everard and everyone affected by her death in such shocking circumstances.

"We share the horror that many will feel, knowing that Sarah's killer was a police officer who had taken an oath to uphold the law and protect life and property. The offences Wayne Couzens has admitted add up to the worst betrayal of the public's trust.

"We are still investigating a number of matters linked to PC Couzens and Sarah's death, and we are working hard to bring those to as swift a conclusion as possible."