Cressida Dick said she was “so sorry” that a former Met Police officer had abused his “position of trust” to kidnap and later murder the 33-year-old marketing executive. Wayne Couzens, who was sentenced to a whole life order on Thursday, had previously faced allegations of indecent exposure as early as 2015. Former Met Police officer Peter Bleksley hit out at Ms Dick for failing to take questions from the press following her statement on the conviction of Sarah Everard’s murderer amid concerns of the impact of the case on public trust of officers.
Speaking to Jeremy Vine on Five, Mr Bleksley said: “What really appalled me about Cressida Dick was that when she finished her statement, she refused to answer any questions from the media.
“She had the perfect opportunity to stop the Met and other police forces going down that bumpy road to regaining public reassurance.
“And in a cowardly fashion, she refused to take questions, turned her back on the media, and scuttled off.
“That was absolutely appalling and a missed opportunity that really fired us all, including our own officers.”
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Ms Dick said Sarah Everard’s murder has brought “shame” on the force, admitting: “A precious bond of trust has been damaged.”
The Met Police Commission was heckled by people calling for her resignation outside the Old Bailey after ex-Pc Wayne Couzens was handed a whole-life prison term.
The firearms officer, who joined the Met in 2018, was sacked by the force after he pleaded guilty to Sarah Everard’s kidnap, rape, and murder.
Ms Dick, Britain’s most senior police officer, described his crimes as “one of the most dreadful events in the 190-year history” of the Met.
She said: “This man has brought shame on the Met.
“Speaking frankly, as an organisation we have been rocked,” she said.
“I absolutely know that there are those who feel that trust in us is shaken.
“I recognise that for some people, a precious bond of trust has been damaged.”
The court heard how Couzens used the pretext of COVID-19 lockdown regulations to falsely arrest Ms Everard, using his police warrant card, handcuffs, and belt in her abduction and murder.
Dame Cressida continued: “This hearing has revealed the brutality of this man’s crimes against Sarah.
“I am absolutely horrified, that this man used his position of trust to deceive and coerce Sarah, and I know you all are too.
“These actions were a gross betrayal of everything policing stands for. What he did was unthinkable and appalling.
“He showed himself to be the coward he is through his lies and seeking to minimise his true responsibility for his crimes.
“Police officers are here to protect people, to be trustworthy, courageous, and compassionate.
“His every action is the exact opposite of that.”