Home Kent News Met Police faces fresh cover-up claims as Wayne Couzens’ misconduct hearing kept...

Met Police faces fresh cover-up claims as Wayne Couzens’ misconduct hearing kept a secret

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Original article from Kent Live

The Metropolitan Police kept a misconduct hearing into Wayne Couzens a secret.

The force faces fresh cover-up claims after Couzens, 48, was sacked from his role as a diplomatic protection officer.

Couzens, from Deal, pleaded guilty to the kidnap, rape and murder of Sarah Everard, an incident which rocked the country in March this year.

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The media are alerted when a police misconduct hearing takes place, since these usually happen in public, however no information was sent, as the Mirror reports.

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On Friday July 16, a press release was instead issued at 5.30pm, but this was after the case had been heard.

Assistant Commissioner Helen Ball said the media were kept out because of the risk of “interfering with criminal proceedings” despite the fact Couzens had already pled guilty.

Sarah Everard, 33, was taken from a street in Clapham as she walked home on March 3

In the hearing's published outcome, the sections which explained AC Ball's decision were redacted.

Other details about "aggravating factors" relating to Couzens' offences also appeared to have been removed.

The Met is being investigated by the police watchdog over how it looked into allegations Couzens indecently exposed himself three days prior to abducting marketing manager Sarah, 33, from a street in Clapham as she walked home.

Her absence was first reported by her boyfriend the following day, and her body was later discovered near woodland in Great Chart, Ashford.

Reclaim These Streets, which organised Sarah’s vigil, said a “culture of cover-up” persisted.

Of the Met’s boss, it said: “Cressida Dick and the Met Police fail to be accountable to the people they are supposed to be keeping safe.”

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Original Article