Police forces to overhaul how they deal with officers caught flashing after damning Wayne Couzens report

29 February 2024, 08:23

Wayne Couzens who raped and murdered Sarah Everard
Wayne Couzens who raped and murdered Sarah Everard. Picture: Alamy

By StephenRigley

Police forces are to dramatically change the way they deal with reports of indecent exposure in the wake of the damning inquiry into Wayne Couzens.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

The former Scotland Yard officer was reported to police several times for flashing but no action was ever taken and he went on to kidnap, rape and murder Sarah Everard in March 2021.

Today, the long-awaited review by Dame Elish Angiolini will be published. It is expected to be highly critical of both Kent Constabulary and the Metropolitan Police for missing numerous opportunities to catch Couzens for indecent exposure.‌

Sarah Everard was raped and murdered by Wayne Couzens
Sarah Everard was raped and murdered by Wayne Couzens. Picture: Alamy

Read More: ‘We could have saved Sarah’: Predatory cop Wayne Couzens seen on CCTV at drive-thru as flashing victim slams Met

Read More: Met Commissioner calls for indecent exposure offence overhaul after Couzens victim criticises force's response

The Telegraph reports that police chiefs will vow to pursue all reasonable lines of inquiry when allegations of indecent exposure are reported.‌

Chiefs will say this is not only the right thing to do for the victim, but will also help prevent flashing offences escalating into serious sexual violence.

O‌fficial figures suggest fewer than six per cent of the annual 10,000 offences of indecent exposure result in a charge or summons.‌

Dame Elish Angiolini
Dame Elish Angiolini. Picture: Alamy

The Angiolini Inquiry report is also expected to highlight glaring problems in the police vetting system, which allowed Couzens to transfer from the Civil Nuclear Constabulary (CNC) into the Met, despite his name being linked to a sexual offence in 2015.‌

Couzens was working for Scotland Yard’s Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection unit, but was off duty, when he used his police warrant card to abduct Ms Everard as she walked through Clapham, South London. He was off-duty at the time.

Before joining the Met, in June 2015 Kent Police investigated Couzens for flashing after a couple came forward after seeing a man exposing himself while driving through Dover.‌

Despite providing police with a description and a car registration number that was tracked to Couzens the case was closed after the witnesses declined to support the investigation.‌

In November 2020, Couzens exposed himself to a female cyclist in an isolated part of rural Kent, but again police failed to investigate the matter properly.‌

The victim reported the incident to Kent Police, providing a description of Couzens and a partial car registration, but the force said it was unable to progress the investigation without the full number plate.‌ The victim was subsequently diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

‌Just weeks before Couzens abducted and murdered Ms Everard he exposed on two separate occasions at a branch of McDonald's drive thru in Swanley, Kent.‌

The incidents were reported to Scotland Yard and officers were provided with details of Couzens’ car registration and bank details.‌

But the investigation was not treated as a priority and had not been properly progressed by March 3 2021, when he attacked and murdered Ms Everard.

It is understood Dame Elish’s report is also expected to demand an overhaul of the vetting system with previous reports warning that pimps, gangsters and predatory sex offenders had managed to slip through the net and join the police.‌

In 2022 a report by Dame Louise Casey warned that an “anything goes” culture had been allowed to develop in the Met with racists, misogynists and criminals allowed to stay in the force.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

The Israeli Iron Dome air defence system launches to intercept missiles fired from Iran

Israel hails ‘success’ in blocking Iran’s unprecedented attack

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has warned that the Middle East is 'on the brink'

'The Middle East is on the brink,' UN chief warns, as Israel approves plan of attack after huge Iranian onslaught

Elections 2024 Media Debates

News organisations urge Joe Biden and Donald Trump to agree to debates

Survivors of the attack are set to sue MI5

Hundreds of survivors of Manchester Arena bombing to sue MI5

The UK is set to experience some warm, dry weather

Two-week period when Brits to bask in warm, dry weather revealed, after cold period ahead

Lennix died after being hit by a car on Saturday

Parents pay tribute to 'happy go lucky' son, 8, killed in crash while riding scooter on quiet Wiltshire road

Damien Guerot stepped in in Sydney

Builder who wielded bollard to defend children from rampaging Sydney knifeman says attacker's 'eyes were empty'

The IDF said over 300 weapons were fired by Iran.

Israel approves plan of attack after foiling massive Iran onslaught, as world leaders call for 'stabilisation'

The G7 have condemned the Iran attack on Israel

G7 leaders condemn Iran's 'unprecedented' attack on Israel and say they 'stand ready to take further measures'

Russia Ukraine War

More civilians die in Ukraine amid warning US aid delays will hamper Kyiv forces

The minibus lying on its side

Seventeen rushed to hospital after bus carrying football fans overturns on motorway in multiple car smash

Bill Nighy

Bill Nighy and Paloma Faith join celebrities demanding Government act over Sudan

Dawn Singleton was among six victims of the stabbings

Police officer fiancé of Sydney stabbing victim 'discovered she had been killed after being scrambled to the scene'

The IDF said over 300 weapons were fired by Iran.

Israel says Iran conflict 'not over' and vows to 'collect a price when timing is right', as US urges restraint

Poland Abortion

Polish opponents of abortion march against recent steps to liberalise strict law

A boy, 8, was killed in the incident.

Boy, 8, dies after crash on quiet Wiltshire cul-de-sac