Sarah Everard murder sentencing – statement from Chief Constable Andy Marsh

Published on 30 September 2021
Written by Andy Marsh, CEO of the College of Policing
Policing will do everything it can so that women and girls feel safe on their own streets
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'Police do not cross' line

Sarah Everard’s life was taken in the most heinous circumstances and there is deep shock and anger within policing after what we have heard in court.

Sarah’s family made courageous statements yesterday which encapsulated her zest for life and plans for the future. This is in contrast to the unconscionable depravity of her murderer, Wayne Couzens.

Today’s whole-life sentence is a just outcome. However, the public are left asking questions and have concerns over the trust they can place in us as a police service.

We are horrified by what we have heard. We are angry that Couzens has created such a question mark over the trust that the public places in us, and we are determined to work hard to gain back that public trust.

We come into policing to keep the public safe, irrespective of any risk it poses to us, and we do it because we care about people. I want women to be reassured that the police are here to protect them.

The trust of the public will be rebuilt through the selfless actions of officers and police staff that happen every day. I know that many of them will be wearing their uniform a little heavier today and desperately wanting to prove again the true values we live by and why we chose to join policing.

Policing will do everything it can so that women and girls feel safe on their own streets, including being part of the wider discussion taking place across society.