Home Kent News Kent Police investigated for ‘failure to act’ over Couzens indecent exposure

Kent Police investigated for ‘failure to act’ over Couzens indecent exposure

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Original article from Kent Live

Kent Police are being investigated over a "failure to act" when PC Wayne Couzens was linked with a case of indecent exposure in 2015.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) have launched the investigation into Kent Police after Couzens yesterday (July 9) pleaded guilty to the murder of Sarah Everard.

Couzens, 48, stood at the Old Bailey yesterday (July 10) and pleaded guilty to murdering 33-year-old woman Sarah Everard in March this year.

READ MORE: The Kent dog so traumatised by his past no one wants to give him a home.

Ms Everard's death sparked a huge search and nationwide protests over women's safety, and her body was found near some land Couzens owned in Kent, after officers searched woodland near Ashford and Deal.

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It has now emerged that the IOPC has launched an investigation into police conduct in the events preceding Ms Everard's murder.

Couzens, formerly of the Metropolitan Police, was linked to several cases of indecent exposure and misconduct as much as six years before Ms Everard was killed.

The IOPC has already served 12 misconduct or gross misconduct notices to serving police officers from several forces in connection to Couzens, and say they "continue to investigate matters".

One part of the IOPC investigation is an enquiry into alleged Kent Police "failures to investigate" an indecent exposure incident linked to Couzens in Kent back in 2015.

No notices have been served for this allegation yet.

The IOPC are also investigating several allegations against the Metropolitan Police, including how Couzens suffered head injuries while in custody on March 10 and 12 after his arrest.

The investigatory body are also exploring alleged Met Police failures to investigate two allegations of indecent exposure linked to Couzens in London in February 2021.

Two officers are being investigated for "possible breaches of professional standards at misconduct level" in relation to this.

Kent Police are being investigated

An investigation has also been launched into allegations that officers from a number of forces breached standards of professional behaviour while sharing information linked to the prosecution of Couzens via a messaging app.

One officer has been served with a gross misconduct notice and another six have received misconduct notices.

The serving of misconduct notices does not necessarily mean that disciplinary proceedings will follow.

IOPC Regional Director Sal Naseem said: “Our sympathies remain with the family of Sarah Everard and everyone affected by her death in such shocking circumstances.

Undated family handout file photo of Sarah Everard. Metropolitan Police officer Wayne Couzens, 48, has pleaded guilty at the Old Bailey in London to the murder of Sarah Everard. Issue date: Friday July 9, 2021. PA Photo. Marketing executive Ms Everard was abducted as she walked home from a friends house in Clapham, south London, on March 3. She was reported missing by her boyfriend on March 4 and her body was found hidden in an area of woodland in Ashford, Kent, on March 10. See PA story COURTS Everard. Photo credit should read: Family Handout/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

“We share the horror that many will feel, knowing that Sarah’s killer was a police officer who had taken an oath to uphold the law and protect life and property.

"The offences Wayne Couzens has admitted add up to the worst betrayal of the public’s trust.

“We are still investigating a number of matters linked to PC Couzens and Sarah’s death, and we are working hard to bring those to as swift a conclusion as possible.”

Original Article