THE appalling details of the Sarah Everard murder case have now been made public. A serving Metropolitan Police officer abused his authority to abduct, rape and strangle his victim. He had rehearsed his crime before committing it.
The repercussions for the Metropolitan Police are severe. Already, women’s groups are issuing advice to women about what to do should they be stopped by a male police officer.
Sentencing Wayne Couzens, 48, yesterday to a whole life tariff, Lord Justice Fulford made the consequences of his crime clear when he said: ‘In my judgment the police are in a unique position, which is essentially different from any other public servants. They have powers of coercion and control that are in an exceptional category. In this country it is expected that the police will act in the public interest; indeed, the authority of the police is to a truly significant extent dependent on the public’s consent, and the power of officers to detain, arrest and otherwise control important aspects of our lives is only effective because of the critical trust that we repose in the constabulary, that they will act lawfully and in the best interests of society. If that is undermined, one of the enduring safeguards of law and order in this country is inevitably jeopardised.’
The authorities need to take urgent action in this regard. The hard Left thrive on the weakening of public trust in institutions, and with this case they have been gifted substantial ammunition in their enduring quest to overthrow the state and impose a vile dictatorship. It may be quite reasonable for any member of the public now to have strong doubts if confronted by a plain-clothes police officer, and this is coming from a conservative-minded writer. The ability of the police to serve and protect the public has been weakened by the disgusting actions of a rogue cop.
In this country, people are policed with their consent. It is notable that people in those communities where this consent has been weakened by socialist activism or is just absent find themselves the main victims of unsolved crime. The stabbing of Jodie Chesney in Harold Wood attracted national attention and swift resolution. Further along the same railway line to Liverpool Street, the shotgun murder of 14-year-old Cory Junior Davis in Forest Gate was quickly forgotten. His murderers are still at large.
At present the public concern is being managed with anodyne official statements. Harriet Harman has written to Met Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick calling for her to quit. She has also written to the Home Secretary asking for Dick’s dismissal. This makes the case a political issue, which may explain why Harman has not written to Labour Mayor Sadiq Khan, who is also in effect London’s elected Police and Crime Commissioner. Khan’s predecessor, Boris Johnson, was able to force out a previous Met Commissioner, Ian Blair, in whom he had no confidence. On the Everard case, as he has been over London’s knife murder epidemic, Khan has gone AWOL.
Public confidence in the police is the fundamental to the persistence of a civic society. This has been severely shaken. The only beneficiaries are those malevolent forces that would subvert our civil peace and try to rupture the thin blue line that protects us all from anarchy.
As our country sees increasing violence on the streets it is vital that the police are more supported than ever. Mismanagement of this case will put that in jeopardy and we will all suffer in the end.