Cressida Dick announces review into Met 'standards' after murder of Sarah Everard

4 October 2021, 13:48 | Updated: 4 October 2021, 15:32

Cressida Dick has again refused to resign as the Met Police commissioner
Cressida Dick has again refused to resign as the Met Police commissioner. Picture: Alamy

By Patrick Grafton-Green

Dame Cressida Dick has announced an independent review into the "standards" and "culture" of the Metropolitan Police following the murder of Sarah Everard.

The force's commissioner added she would not be resigning as she confirmed the news on Monday.

Wayne Couzens was jailed for life last week for the kidnap, rape and murder of Ms Everard when he was a serving police officer.

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Dame Cressida told broadcasters: "These events have been absolutely dreadful. I speak for my colleagues when I say we are furious.

"We depend on the trust of the public, we police by consent and I know that public trust has been damaged.

"People are rightly gravely concerned about what they've seen and as a consequence, today, I'm announcing that we will have an independent person come in and review the Met in terms of its standards, and in terms of its culture, how we treat each other, and how we treat the public.

"Our leadership, our processes, our systems, our people, our training, everything will be looked at.

"This will be a fully transparent report, it will respond to me, but will, of course, make recommendations for changes, I'm sure, and those will be public."

On whether she would resign, she added: "People will be entitled to their opinion, I've got a job to do, I'm getting on with it.

"My job now is to lead the Met through a difficult time and rebuild that public trust which I am doing through bringing in an independent person to review our standards and culture."

Dame Cressida said she is expecting to announce who will undertake the independent review in a week's time.

"It will take a minimum of six months, I suspect it may actually take a little longer. Obviously, I need to negotiate that with the reviewer. But I want it to be as quick as it possibly can be," she said.

She added the independent review will not have any effect on the ongoing IOPC and other investigations into the Met following Couzens' case.

It came as the Prime Minister said there needs to be a change in the "culture of policing" following Ms Everard's murder.

Boris Johnson told broadcasters in Manchester: "What we can certainly conclude from the Wayne Couzens case and what happened there is that there is a massive job of work to do to give women the confidence that they need.

"I want to be clear: I believe people should be confident in the police. I believe police officers, men and women up and down the country, will be absolutely sickened by what has happened, and they will be doing everything they can, and I know they do everything they can to help and reassure the public. So, it is vital that the public trust the police.

"But what we need to do is do some things to make the streets safer and we are investing massively in CCTV and street lighting, and those sorts of things, but also make sure we change the culture of policing.

"Police officers need to handle these cases properly, to take them seriously, and I want to see a much shorter time between reporting of a crime and an arrest, between an arrest and a prosecution, and between a prosecution and a conviction.

"We've got to contract all that. We've also got to recruit many more female police officers. It is happening in the Met - up to 40% of new recruits are female - it should happen around the country."