Wednesday, October 27, 2021

All police forces are investigating allegations of sexual offenses against officers

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All police forces in England and Wales should investigate allegations of indecent exposure, sexual offenses and violence against women by duty officers.

It comes after the rape and murder of Sarah Everard by Metropolitan Police Constable Wayne Couzens raised questions about the screening and surveillance of officers.

A watchdog is investigating why Couzens was not arrested for two indecent incidents, and a public inquiry will investigate how he managed to remain a police officer despite reports being referred to as a “rapist” by colleagues.

The National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) said all emergency services had been asked to review all incidents of violence against women and girls, including indecent exposure, by police officers and staff.

The NPCC has proposed investigating the past two years’ cases and any ongoing investigations into allegations of sexual misconduct and domestic violence.

The armed forces will “dive” in cases from the past 10 years of sexual misconduct and domestic violence allegations and the defendants remain on duty to ensure that appropriate action, including screening, has been taken.

Chief constables will seek to ensure that information is shared between the regional armed forces in which a crime is committed and the force in which the officer works.

They will also check that review procedures are being followed, hold discussions on “values ​​and standards” and assess their armed forces’ response to violence against women.

The action plan was finalized last week at an NPCC meeting with all police chiefs of the armed forces in England and Wales.

The chairman of the NPCC, Martin Hewitt, told the PA news agency: “We need to know exactly what happened, what is going on and what action must be taken in any of these cases.”

He said police leaders would “do everything we can to ensure that violence against women and girls is dealt with as effectively and assertively as possible”.

Repeating the “betrayal” and disgust at Couzens’ actions, Mr Hewitt said there was a “sense of determination” among police chiefs to restore public confidence.

“There are things we can do, there are things we know we have to do, we absolutely have to listen,” he added.

While the work is being coordinated by the NPCC, the individual checks are carried out internally by the forces. The timeframe for carrying out the controls has not yet been set and it is unclear whether the results will be made public.

The Metropolitan Police on Friday announced their own review of sexual offense and domestic abuse cases involving officers and staff, admitting that some suspected officers were allowed to remain on duty.

A separate public inquiry was announced by Priti Patel last week into how Couzens was allowed to stay with the police and “other questions” the case raises.

The national police station is already conducting several investigations into the murder, including material shared with Couzens on a WhatsApp group.

LatestPageNews Bureau of Police Conduct (IOPC) is also investigating why Couzens was not arrested for two indecent incidents in 2015 and days before Ms. Everard was murdered.

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