Cressida Dick: I can't describe my fury at Wayne Couzens - I am so sorry

30 September 2021, 15:02 | Updated: 30 September 2021, 16:46

Cressida Dick has apologised and said she cannot express the fury at Wayne Couzens
Cressida Dick has apologised and said she cannot express the fury at Wayne Couzens. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

The head of the Met has said Wayne Couzens brought "shame" onto the force and added: "I am so sorry."

The commissioner, Dame Cressida Dick, said the murderer of Sarah Everard - who used his position as an officer to falsely arrest her - has "brought shame" on the force.

"There are no words that can fully express the fury and overwhelming sadness that we all feel about what happened to Sarah.

"I am so sorry."

Couzens has been jailed for life for kidnapping, raping and murdering Sarah Everard, who was walking home from a friend's house in Clapham when the officer abducted her.

Read more: Killer cop to die behind bars: Sarah Everard’s parents say the world is a 'safer place'

Read more: Met chief faces calls to quit over how cop nicknamed 'The Rapist' slipped through the net

He used Covid laws to detain her, before taking her to Kent, and finally burning her body and dumping her body parts in a lake.

The case has sparked renewed calls for the commissioner to go, as questions grow over how an officer nicknamed "the rapist" was still part of the force.

Labour MPs Harriet Harman and Diane Abbott both said she could go, while Jess Phillips asked what powerful women like Priti Patel and the commissioner were doing to stop violence against women.

"I've watched the Home Secretary and Cressida Dick expressing sorrow, they are both women with immense power please ask them what they are going to do about the massive failings other than be sad," Ms Phillips said.

"Last week the Home Secretary refused to say if she would implement all of the recommendations of Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Police report that said that violence against women and girls was not a properly managed priority for police or government so sadness is not enough!!!!"

Dame Cressida called what happened "one of the most dreadful events in the 190-year history of the Metropolitan Police Service" and admitted trust in officers had been shaken by the case.

She said the sentencing hearing "revealed the full brutality" of Couzens' crimes and that she was "absolutely horrified this man used his position of trust to deceive and coerce Sarah".

"His actions were a gross betrayal of everything policing stands for," the commissioner said.

"What he did was unthinkable and appalling, he showed himself to be the coward he is through his lies and seeking to minimise his true responsibility for his crimes.

"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."

Earlier this month, Dame Cressida was given a two-year extension to her time as the Met's top officer, despite some opposition to it.

Speaking on Thursday, she 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."