London police have suggested that women get help from a passing bus driver if they feel threatened by an officer following Sarah Everards murder.
A day after the British police officer Wayne Couzens was sent to prison for the rest of his life for the false arrest, rape, and murder of 33-year-old marketing executive Sarah Everard, Londons Metropolitan Police force has provoked fury by suggesting that women who feel intimidated by a plain-clothes cop should flag down a passing bus for help.
Its also been reported this week that he was known as the Rapist among colleagues for making women feel uncomfortable and that he shared misogynistic messages with fellow officers in a WhatsApp group. The cop was also linked to two previous allegations of indecent exposure.
The murder and this weeks new damning details have badly damaged public trust in the Metropolitan Police force in Londonand its advice to women who now feel worried about being stopped by a plainclothes officer has been met with outrage for effectively amounting to victim-blaming.
In a Thursday statement, the force urged women to be much more skeptical of solo plainclothes officers, advising them to challenge cops about why theyre being stopped. The force also advises women to verify the police officers identity by demanding to hear their radio operator.
Then, if the woman still feels unsafe with the plainclothes officer after taking those initial steps, the force said they should think about shouting out to a passerby, running into a house, knocking on a door, waving a bus down or, if you are in the position to do so, calling 999.
All officers will, of course, know about this case and will be expecting in an interaction like thatrare as it may bethat members of the public may be understandably concerned and more distrusting than they previously would have been, and should and will expect to be asked more questions, the force said in its controversial statement.
However, many women have reacted with fury to the Mets advice, saying it infers that Everard could have done more to prevent her false arrest, kidnap, rape, murder, and burning at the hands of Couzens.
People pointed out that the advice missed the pointCouzens was a serving cop, so verifying his identity on the night of the murder would not have helped. One of the founders of feminist political group the Womens Equality Party, Catherine Mayer, wrote, Extraordinary advice to women from the Met Police, so many shades of wrong. Not least in that Wayne Couzens was who he said he was, a serving police officer.
Another police boss was criticized Friday after appearing to suggest that Everard wasnt streetwise enough when stopped by Couzens.
Lucy Arnold, from the womens rights group Reclaim the Streets, described Allotts comments as horrifically offensive, and asked, Does anyone really feel like they can stand up to a police officer? I am very confident I know my rights, I know the law, but no I wouldnt feel confident at all.
Couzens, 48, was sentenced Thursday to a whole-life prison term.
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