How many more women will die as UK police forces ignore sex offenders in their ranks? | Yvonne Roberts

Lady Angiolini’s report into the murder of Sarah Everard by a Met officer has called for a significant overhaul. But we’ve been here before

Dame Elish Angiolini was tasked by Priti Patel, the then home secretary, to conduct an inquiry into the horrendous March 2021 abduction, rape and murder of Sarah Everard by Metropolitan police officer Wayne Couzens . Last Thursday, two years later, her 347-page report was published . Angiolini, a former lord advocate of Scotland, praised Everard’s family for “grace in their suffering”, and then she issued the bluntest of warnings.

“Without a significant overhaul there is nothing to stop another Wayne Couzens operating in plain sight,” she said. The rhetoric of transformation, apology and change falls easily from the lips of senior police officers. Last Thursday, for instance, Sir Mark Rowley, Met police commissioner, issued “an urgent call to action” , having earlier launched Operation Onyx, “the strongest doubling down of standards for 50 years”. It has reinvestigated 689 officers and revealed that 161 Met officers have criminal convictions. Yet the extent of the crisis that the Met and other police forces face is that for decades, while the outer skin is shed as a result of half-hearted reforms, the rotten flesh remains, threatening to contaminate even those who serve with the highest levels of integrity.

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