Policing Minister: 'Variety of lessons' can be learned in Everard murder inquiry

5 October 2021, 20:11

By Seán Hickey

The Policing Minister says that an 'evidence based inquiry' into Met failures following Wayne Couzens' sentencing will ensure 'we can get it right for the future'.

"Do you think the police are doing a good job of making sure they have the right people protecting the public?" Tom Swarbrick asked Policing Minister Kit Malthouse, following Priti Patel's announcement that an inquiry into how Wayne Couzens slipped through vetting procedures at the Met.

Read more: Priti Patel announces inquiry into murder of Sarah Everard

"This case has obviously raised a question mark as to how this individual was able to get through the net" Mr Malthouse accepted. "Are there vulnerabilities in the vetting process that we need to address?" Tom pressed.

"If the Home Secretary can say this afternoon that there have been systematic failures, how can it be that you have confidence in the vetting process that would weed out those people who aren't there to protect the public?"

Read more: Killer cop to die behind bars: Sarah Everard's parents say the world is a 'safer place'

The Policing Minister doubled down in his support of the system: "The vetting procedure has worked thus far although obviously this guy obviously got through.

Read more: Met has 'very serious questions to answer' over Everard case, says minister

"We don't know, actually, at the moment whether it was the vetting that was at fault" Mr Malthouse added, explaining that there could have been failings elsewhere in the system which allowed Wayne Couzens to remain in a job.

"There's a variety of lessons we need to learn" he accepted.

The Policing Minister welcomed the Home Secretary's plans for an "evidence based inquiry into these issues so we can make sure we can get it right for the future".

He concluded by stressing that the "vast majority of police officers are dedicated to doing a brilliant job to keeping us all safe."

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