What are YOUR rights if cop stops you on street? Ex-police chief explains key questions and actions public can take if undercover officer tries to arrest you
- Couzens tricked Sarah Everard into his car after staging a fake arrest on her
- Details of the devious deception have sparked questions about officers
- Now a former police chief has given her advice on what is best to do
A former police chief has spoken out in the wake of Wayne Couzens’ kidnap, rape and murder of Sarah Everard to advise people of their rights if they are suspicious about an officer.
Couzens, 48, posed as an on-duty undercover officer and flashed his warrant card to handcuff the 33-year-old in a fake arrest to get her in his car.
Details of the elaborate deception have led to many wondering how they will react if a PC attempts to detain them in the future.
Former Met Police chief superintendent Parm Sandhu said there were things people could do if they were concerned about an arrest.
She said: ‘I would say, do not get into the car unless it’s a marked police vehicle, ask to see the radio, or ask the arresting officer to call their colleagues and make sure they are on duty.
‘If you’re really concerned dial 999.
Former Met Police chief superintendent Parm Sandhu said people should act on concerns
Wayne Couzens, 48, tricked Sarah Everard into his car after staging a fake arrest on her
‘This cannot carry on forever, it’s a short-term solution – we’ve got to get that trust and confidence back – but in the short-term they’re easy steps to verify you’re being stopped legitimately,’ she added to GMB.
Police only have the power to stop people if they have reasonable grounds they have committed a crime.
The only other time they can is if they think you might be carrying a weapon or doing anti-social behaviour.
If they do think this and they ask for your address and details you have to answer and if you fail to it could be considered a criminal offence in itself.
And as of today the Metropolitan Police announced they will not deploy plain clothes officers on their own.
Deputy Commissioner Sir Stephen House said: ‘We will not operate plain clothes officers on their own. If we do use them, they will be in pairs.’
Couzens sitting in the front seat of the hire car, after he falsely ‘arrested’ Miss Everard (who is seated in the back) outside Poynders Court on Poynders Road, Clapham
He said there will be ‘occasions’ where that is not possible – such as when a pair of officers are split up – and noted that off-duty officers not in uniform
Couzens was today jailed for the rest of his life with no chance of parole after he ‘misused’ his ‘office and authority’ as a Met officer to kidnap, rape and murder.
Lord Justice Fulford told Couzens he is a ‘warped’ and ‘self-pitying’ killer who relied on his position and knowledge of Covid-19 lockdown laws to carry out one of the most shocking crimes in recent history.
Sarah’s tearful family watched as Couzens, 48, became the first police officer in British history to receive a whole life sentence, standing as he was taken to the cells.
Accusing him of ‘eroding’ public trust in police and making women more frightened to walk the streets, the judge said: ‘Sarah Everard was a wholly blameless victim of a grotesque series of offences’, adding: ‘She was simply walking home’.
The judge made the killer stand and face the court – but he kept his head bowed – as he handed down a whole life term reserved for around 70 of Britain’s most dangerous criminals including serial killers and terrorists.
He said: ‘Wayne Couzens, you kidnapped, raped and murdered Sarah Everard, having long planned a violent sexual assault on a yet-to-be-selected victim who you intended to coerce into your custody.
‘You have irretrievably damaged the lives of Sarah Everard’s family and friends – you have eroded the confidence that the public are entitled to have in the police forces of England and Wales.
‘I have seen no evidence of genuine contrition on your part as opposed to evident self-pity and attempts by you to avoid or minimise the proper consequences of what you have done’.
Outside the Old Bailey his former boss Cressida Dick refused to resign but admitted the now-sacked PC had ‘brought shame on the Met’ and damaged the ‘precious bond of trust’ between the public and police.
She said: ‘Sarah’s kidnap, rape and murder was one of the most dreadful events in the 190-year history of the Metropolitan Police Service.
‘There are no words that can fully express the fury and sadness we feel about what happened to Sarah. I am so sorry’, adding: ‘Speaking frankly as an organisation, we have been rocked. I absolutely know that there are those that feel their trust in us is shaken’.
Source: Read Full Article