Inquiry launched into 'systematic failures' that led to Wayne Couzens working for Met Police 10 months ago

Inquiry launched into 'systematic failures' that led to Wayne Couzens working for Met Police

Priti Patel refused to say Wayne Couzens name, instead referring to him as a 'monster'

An independent inquiry into the "systematic failures" that allowed Wayne Couzens to continue as a Met Police officer and go on to murder Sarah Everard has been launched.

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Priti Patel announced the inquiry at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester on Tuesday, saying "recent tragic events have exposed unimaginable failures in policing".

"It is abhorrent that a serving police officer was able to abuse his position of power, authority and trust to commit such a horrific crime."

Couzens, 48, was last week sentenced to a whole life sentence for the kidnap, rape, and murder of Everard.

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Patel refused to say Couzens' name, describing him instead as a "monster".

Patel said the public has a "right to know" why Couzens was able to be employed by the Metropolitan Police.

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The inquiry will look at Couzens' career in the Met and determine if red flags were missed to identify him as a threat.

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Everard, 33, was walking home from a friend's house in Clapham, south London, on the evening of March 3 when she was pulled over by Couzens under the guide of a Coivd stop. She was then handcuffed and driven to Kent where she was murdered.

The inquiry will be split into two parts, with the first examining Couzens' previous behaviour and aiming to establish a "definitive account" of his conduct leading up to his conviction, as well "any opportunities missed".

The second will examine "specific issues raised by the first part of the inquiry".

That could include looking at wider issues across policing, including vetting practices, discipline, and workplace behaviour.

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Patel will also write to the independent police inspectorate to commission a "thematic inspection of vetting and counter-corruption procedures in policing across England and Wales".