Ex-police chief: Womens' faith in justice system destroyed amid Everard case

10 July 2021, 13:24 | Updated: 10 July 2021, 13:40

By Seán Hickey

The former chief constable of the Greater Manchester police admits that the Sarah Everard trial has highlighted gaping holes in the system when it comes to prosecuting sexual offences.

Sir Peter Fahy spoke to Matt Frei after police officer Wayne Couzens plead guilty to the murder of Sarah Everard. The former police chief was understanding of the views of many women towards the policing system amid the trial.

"I can absolutely understand why women don't have confidence in the wider system" he said, citing a "prosecution rate for rape of less than 2%" as a key factor in why women have lost faith.

Read More: 'She was just walking home': the impact of Sarah Everard's murder

He worried that the Wayne Couzens trial will "further dent the confidence women have in coming forward" as more information is revealed.

Matt was surprised by Sir Peter's claims, wondering "how did we get there?"

"The whole criminal justice system just cannot cope with the nature of modern day offending and has just not given it enough priority."

Read More: Met under pressure to probe how Sarah Everard's killer remained on force

"So many female victims of sexual offences do not see that what the criminal justice system has to offer is going to meet their needs, and give them any justice or any redress."

He insisted that "we have to look at the fundamentals of the system" if women are to truly regain faith in the system.

The former police chief added that police have been "absolutely devastated by this case" and those same police officers are "very cynical, they're very disillusioned by the wider system."

He worried that as it stands, "the very nature of the court system can't really cope with the nature of modern relationships" and because "the police represent that system, they are the front door of that system," they will not have public confidence until there is mass change to the system.