Sadiq Khan says faith in the Met Police will 'take years' to restore on anniversary of Sarah Everard's murder

3 March 2024, 17:52 | Updated: 3 March 2024, 18:12

Sadiq Khan says faith in the Met Police will "take years" to restore on anniversary of Sarah Everard's murder
Sadiq Khan says faith in the Met Police will "take years" to restore on anniversary of Sarah Everard's murder. Picture: Alamy

By Danielle De Wolfe

The Mayor of London has said it will "take years" to restore damaged faith in the police, comments that come on the third anniversary of Sarah Everard's death.

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Sadiq Khan emphased that the public's trust in the force had been fundamentally broken following the 33-year-old's murder at the hands of Metropolitan Police officer Wayne Couzens.

Miss Everard was abducted, raped and killed by Couzens, a serving officer, in south London as she walked home on the evening of March 3, 2021.

"My thoughts are with the family and loved ones of Sarah Everard on the third anniversary of her tragic death, on what must be an unimaginably difficult day for all those who knew and loved Sarah," Sadiq Khan said.

He added that "far-reaching reform" was required to build back trust in the force.

The Mayor of London says it will "take years" to repair
The Mayor of London says it will "take years" to repair. Picture: Alamy

"Sarah's murder by a serving police officer horrified the entire country and significantly damaged the trust and confidence women and girls have in the police. This will take years to repair," Mr Khan continued.

It follows comments from the Mayor of London who earlier in the week spoke with LBC to warn that multiple police forces could have taken action against Wayne Couzens but failed to do so in the run up to Sarah’s abduction, rape and murder.

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His words come after a recent report found that Sarah Everard’s killer "abused women long before he joined police,” with Mr Khan warning of the officers obvious track record.

Mr Khan said: “What’s quite clear from his track record is… a number of forces could have taken action to stop him being a police officer, or kick him out - and didn’t.”

"There were red flags, that should have brought him to the attention of those in positions of power and influence and kicked him out," he continued.

Thousands of people across the country attended vigils in the wake of the marketing executive's murder - including a candlelit gathering in Clapham, close to where she lived.

At the time, the Met faced widespread criticism over their handling of the vigil, with multiple arrests made during what was widely considered to be a peaceful demonstration highlighting women's safety at the hands of the police.

The Mayor of London says it will "take years" to repair
The Mayor of London says it will "take years" to repair. Picture: Alamy

Mr Khan added: “We owe it to Sarah, Zara Aleena, Sabina Nessa, Nicole Smallman, Bibaa Henry and every other woman who has had their life brutally stolen from them to do all we can to prevent violence against women and girls.”

Last week, an inquiry chaired by Lady Elish Angiolini found that Couzens should never have been allowed to remain serving as a police officer following a slew of allegations made against him.

She added that multiple chances to stop the sexual predator in his tracks had been missed or repeatedly ignored by the force.