Officers face misconduct hearings over alleged failures during investigation of Wayne Couzens' crimes

14 February 2023, 14:01

An inquiry into how Couzens' crimes were investigated was launched
An inquiry into how Couzens' crimes were investigated was launched. Picture: Alamy/Met Police

By Will Taylor

Two police officers are facing misconduct proceedings over the handling of reports of Wayne Couzens' indecent exposure before his rape and killing of Sarah Everard.

One is a constable in the Metropolitan Police, who faces a gross misconduct hearing, and another is a sergeant with Kent Police, who will have a misconduct meeting.

They relate to separate claims of flashing by Couzens, the former Met cop who admitted three counts of indecent exposure in Kent between November 2020 and February 2021.

It follows an investigation by the Independent Office for Police Misconduct (IOPC).

The agency's regional director, Sal Naseem, said: "We have been unable to publish our findings until now due to the risk of prejudicing criminal proceedings against Couzens.

"Now that those have concluded it will be for the Metropolitan and Kent police forces to organise disciplinary proceedings which will consider the evidence we have gathered and determine whether the allegations against the officers are proven or not."

Read more: Sarah Everard's killer Wayne Couzens pleads guilty to indecent exposure

The constable is accused of breaching the standards relating to professional behaviour for alleged failings over the way inquires progressed.

They are also accused of breaching standards relating to honesty and integrity over parts of an account provided to the IOPC.

The IOPC started an inquiry into the investigation of reports that Couzens exposed himself to women twice in February 2021, at a drive-through fast food outlet in South London.

Read more: Nicola Bulley 'must have been shoved really hard' if she went into river and police agree case is odd, expert says

The IOPC's inquiry centred on whether the investigation into those crimes was adequately carried out and supervised.

It also separately looked into Kent Police's handling of a report that alleged a man indecently exposed himself to a pedestrian in Dover while driving in June 2015. The car was later found to have belonged to Couzens.

The sergeant has a case to answer for misconduct for "alleged failures in following all reasonable lines of enquiry before the case was closed… we found no evidence to suggest that Wayne Couzens was identified as a police officer and he was not spoken to".

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