Open letter to Head of MET Dame Cressida Dick [revised 12/10/2021]

Some say that you got your job as a bit of blatant window dressing? You have said publicly recently regarding Sarah Everard’s murder that you are ‘Sorry’ and ‘Lessons will be Learnt’? Ambiguous, misleading, weasel words when you don’t explain WHAT you are Sorry for, nor WHAT Lessons will be Learnt?

Wayne Couzens, a serving Met armed police officer, with an all-areas pass to the Commons, committed the heinous crimes of kidnap, rape, and murder of 33-year-old marketing executive Sarah Everard and trash burning his victim’s body, yet he was not dismissed, so remained in your force and was still paid long after he had admitted this criminality. He was recruited and passed ‘clearly inadequate’ vetting checks with no follow-up, as he had no criminal convictions or cautions, and that despite his reputation in previous forces as a sexual bad egg [nicknamed ‘the rapist’ by colleagues in the Civil Nuclear Constabulary because of his inappropriate behaviour around women]. He used to work at his father’s garage in Dover before joining the Kent Special Constabulary at some point after 2002, and a colleague in that year has spoken of ‘his attraction to brutal sexual pornography’. He used prostitutes and had a fake Match.com dating profile despite being married with two children. In 2018, it has been claimed that he was reported to bosses for slapping a female police officer’s bottom at Bromley police station but it appears no action was taken; and also, while at Bromley, it is alleged he became the subject of gossip for only stopping female motorists – before taking their details so he could watch their homes – and parking outside schools to leer at mothers and sixth formers.

Couzens had previously committed flashing sexual offences – the early sign of a carnal marauder

On February 28, just 72 hours before Miss Everard’s murder, two McDonald’s staff told police they were flashed by a male motorist at a branch in Swanley, Kent. Officers are then believed to have identified Couzens’ car via CCTV of his number plate. However, officers did not realise the suspect was their own officer until afterwards. He previously had exposed himself (naked from the waist down) on February 7 and again on February 27 (again officers are believed to have identified Couzens’ car via CCTV of his number plate).

Furthermore, Couzens’ car number plate was linked to a 2015 alleged indecent exposure in Kent, though Couzens was not named as the suspect, but the vehicle involved was identified and that information would have been enough to establish that Couzens was the owner. Met Police blamed the Kent force for the missing link, claiming ‘Kent Police investigated this allegation and decided to take no further action’ – the record of this allegation and outcome may not have been found during the Met vetting checks. Indeed more recently he was suspected of flashing two women at McDonald’s three days before his vile escapade [the incident had been reported to police, who identified Couzens’ car via CCTV] – and though police knew that one ‘Wayne Couzens’ was accused of flashing they apparently failed to identify him as a Met officer until later, so he was never apprehended – that inexplicable failure, which smacks of protectionism by fellow officers, as very few people share the killer’s name (meaning a basic investigation would have identified the Diplomatic Protection Officer as the suspect), whence he could have been exposed as a sexual predator and suspended (involving being put on restricted duties, meaning he had to hand in his warrant card and couldn’t have any contact with the public), before he went on to kidnap, rape and strangle Sarah, but that ‘failure to investigate’ fiasco allowed him on the evening of 3 March 2021 to fulfil his sick fantasy and proceed with his premeditated plan to seek out on the dark streets of South London and fatally attack any innocent lone woman stranger he came across. There were multiple missed chances to expose Couzens as a threat to women. That would include the fact that twisted killer officer Wayne Couzens ‘showed off a prostitute at a Met Police party’ and referred to her as his bit of “brass” at a private do at the Hilton in Maidstone, Kent – the former Met Police officer was said to be open with colleagues about using prostitutes. In addition, on another occasion a woman is alleged to have turned up at his London police station asking for money, and the married dad-of-two was then ‘called back from patrol’ so he could go to a cashpoint with her and he admitted she was also a prostitute – the woman refused to leave until she’d spoken to Couzens. A source said Couzens was “always saying weird things about sex” and gave several colleagues “the creeps” – it “beggars belief” if “not actually criminal” that he was protected by colleagues and no-one saw fit to raise either of the two escort incidents with superiors or how your force failed to identify Couzens as a predatory risk.

Sarah Everard’s ‘false arrest and murder’ has corroded trust in the police in general and brought ‘shame’ on your force’ – women’s confidence in the police has been shattered, hasn’t it?

Why was Wayne Couzens not also charged with the false arrest used in the abduction – because that would put the police in disrepute? Who decided that?

The burden to stay safe has repugnantly been delegated to women themselves (wives, partners, sister’s, daughters, and female friends) as demonstrated by the Met Police new ‘ridiculous’ derisory guidance telling women to ‘wave down a bus’, if they don’t trust a male officer! What distrust people will now have where they have to protect themselves FROM the police in that manner, eh?

Reportedly more than 750 of your officers and staff have faced sexual misconduct claims since 2010 – just 83 sacked though! Well before Wayne Couzens, staggeringly some 27 of your officers were CONVICTED of sex crimes in the past 5 years, including one who was jailed 26 months for sending highly sexualised messages to what he thought was a 13-year-old girl? Another officer was sent down for 22 months for 3 counts of possession of indecent child images and three of outraging public decency. Five have even carried out sex offences while ON DUTY since 2010 and unbelievably one was recruited last year despite a conviction for INDECENT EXPOSURE? Sex offences included rape, possession of indecent child images, and voyeurism, while 150 serving officers have convictions for OTHER offences ranging from assault to drugs – when it’s never appropriate for a force to employ an officer with a criminal record, is it?

Yet another serving Met police officer (now suspended), from the same Diplomatic Protection Command as Couzens, has been charged on 3 October with rape by Hertfordshire Constabulary when off-duty on 4 September 2020 in St Albans.

Moreover, in the months before Couzens’ criminal actions he exchanged WhatsApp group misogynistic, racist and homophobic texts for 8 months in 2019 with his police colleagues, as found on his phone, so another 16 of your officers and others are now being probed and are ones who are ‘belatedly’ facing a criminal investigation for sending grossly offensive material (why are some still on duty?). However, you knew all about that of course as a superintendent senior officer ‘whistle blower’ warned you in March about the 2019 WhatsApp sick vulgar sexist texts sent by your officers, that amply demonstrated the flourishing sexist culture environment at the Met, though you didn’t respond. Nevertheless, action WAS taken – but NOT against the culprits but AGAINST the female informant who was victimised and lost her job, so took your force to an industrial tribunal and won her case for compensation DISGUSTING. In typical police cover-up fashion, a panel had found the WhatsApp group vile participants behaviour to be ‘distasteful’ but NOT amounting to MISCONDUCT – but the industrial tribunal decided differently and ruled the messages were ‘sexualised, derogatory towards women, offensive, and completely inappropriate for ANY workplace’!

Many months ago, your force the MET was exposed by senior officers as being a hotbed of unchecked widespread and rife toxic sexism and misogyny, so how come you didn’t know about it nor take appropriate action to deal with what amounts to institutional misogyny, eh? You don’t seem to get the seriousness of the situation you have presided over?

Furthermore, on 13 March 2021, your male police officers were seen ‘grabbing and manhandling’ peaceful women who were then handcuffed and removed from crowds at a vigil for Sarah Everard in south London (while officers had a responsibility to enforce Covid-19 restrictions at the rally it was in the public’s view a response at times neither appropriate nor proportionate – though a police watchdog ‘whitewash’ found they had acted “appropriately”).

[During the vigil held in memory of Sarah Everard the ‘Reclaim The Streets’ group had planned to hold a peaceful vigil on Clapham Common in honour of Everard, on a Saturday evening but ultimately cancelled those plans after failing to engage the London Met Police in talks about how best to hold the event – however, despite the change of plans, hundreds still descended on Clapham Common in a show of female solidarity]

Rotten apple Wayne Couzens was surrounded by likeminded sexism fellow officers who did not investigate his foulness and he was disgracefully protected by your rotten barrel institution

All these dreadful things at the MET, Britain’s largest police force with 43,000 officers [Police Officers: 32,373; Special Constables: 1,840; Police Community Support Officers: 1,254; Designated Detention Officers: 614; Police Staff: 9,814], happened on YOUR watch, but YOU don’t seem to accept ACCOUNTABILITY, so although Couzens is solely responsible for Sarah Everard’s murder, WHO is accountable for your organisation’s many many failings, that now make it not fit for purpose, eh?

You have belatedly now announced an independent review into the “standards” and “culture” of the Metropolitan Police when you say “Our leadership, our processes, our systems, our people, our training, everything will be looked at. This will be a fully transparent report, it will respond to me, but will, of course, make recommendations for changes, I’m sure, and those will be public.” but why did you wait and not do so at the appropriate time, say a year ago, when it would have saved Sarah Everard from brutal murder by Wayne Couzens?

Your devious plan to protect your management inaction by holding an ‘independent review’ in secret and only disclosing to the public ‘change recommendations’, has been scuppered by Home Secretary Priti Patel’s decision to launch an independent government inquiry into the Mets (your) failures after the Couzens scandal [“unimaginable failures” allowed Wayne Couzens to keep his job], hasn’t it? She like the general public is aghast that indeed he was ever was allowed to join as a Met police officer and remained one, before raping and killing Sarah Everard (the worst moment in the Metropolitan Police’s 192-year history?) – it will also investigate the missed opportunities you had to identify his predatory behaviour, and the ‘boys club’ culture at Scotland Yard that protected him from exposure. Secondly, it will cover changes that you needed to have implement in vetting practices, professional standards, discipline and workplace behaviour [currently it will be non-statutory, so unless that changes it will NOT have powers to compel witnesses to attend hearings or get full access to documents, as there are genuine fears it could be obstructed by Scotland Yard no less, and monster Couzens himself could obtain the right to appear and even gain full access to sensitive detail linked evidence. [Patel also asks “what’s going wrong in policing in London” where all the key statistics on crime and misconduct were “going in the wrong direction” (it has to be said under your personal management for over 5 years since 2017)

The Telegraph newspaper’s latest exposé of your force’s catalogue of failings and ‘institutional rot’ that has corrupted the Metropolitan Police, including ‘ineffective’ and ‘bullying’ management, is outlined by a number of your team former-detectives from CAIT (Child Abuse Investigation Team) covering SE London, one of Scotland yard’s most sensitive units, who claim the complaints process is broken, potentially ‘putting children at risk’, amidst allegations that as well as instructions to carry-out ‘unlawful’ acts [when refusal to comply led to disciplinary proceedings), there were orders from superiors (which were covered-up), to arrest and caution people over abuse offences they were NOT believed to have committed and for which there was no evidence, solely in order to boost the recorded ‘clear-up rate’ – and officers were too afraid to raise concerns about their colleagues because of a ‘culture of protection’ in the Met – predictably your force subsequently determined that certain allegations were ‘not supported by evidence’.

Based on their disturbing reports, in defence either you must claim that YOU employed INCOMPETENT detectives OR these are bare-faced LIARS – WHICH IS IT MADAM?

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