Our statement on the Angiolini Inquiry

Our thoughts are with the family and loved ones of Sarah Everard as part one of the Angiolini Inquiry report is published. The findings that Wayne Couzens should never have been able to enter the police and the repeated failings to root out his predatory and sexually motivated behaviour, are agonising to those who work tirelessly to protect women and girls across London. 

The inquiry’s findings that abusive language and misogynistic behaviour went unchallenged, reports of indecent exposure were not adequately investigated and missed opportunities in vetting to remove Couzens as an officer, all highlight how much more is needed to ensure we have a police force that can protect and support women and girls. The lack of consequences for their behaviours further emboldens people like Couzens and leaves more women and girls at risk.  

Solace is pleased to see that the inquiry has laid bare attitudes within the Metropolitan Police and the importance of major reforms to address the processes and culture within policing. 

Nahar Choudhury, CEO at Solace, said “Our thoughts continue to be with the family and loved ones of Sarah Everard. We cannot comprehend what they have been through in the last three years and in seeing the full findings in this report.”

“That there were opportunities to prevent what happened to Sarah and that criminal behaviour was overlooked is harrowing. Highlighting these failings will not bring Sarah back but it can help us to ensure that more officers do not use their power to harm, and that women and girls are protected.

“The report highlights significant failings in recruitment processes, vetting and tackling the wider misogynistic culture within our police forces. The Casey Review had already highlighted the lack of vigilance towards those who intend to abuse their position and this report yet again finds opportunities that were missed that could have prevented abuse and saved lives.

“Reports of indecent exposure being under investigated and effectively ignored in the vetting process is troubling. We need to see more action taken to identify and tackle predatory behaviour by police officers and we urge the Government to accept the inquiry’s recommendations on investigating indecent exposure and improving recruitment and vetting procedures.”

Part 2 of the inquiry will be crucial to look more widely at the issues we see day to day regarding the deeply-rooted culture issues in policing, and look at wider failings in recruitment and vetting. However, Solace urge the Metropolitan Police and forces across the country not to wait, and to ensure that these abuses of power are prevented and to break down the culture of protecting their own.

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