Commissioner in Aylesbury's policing area urges public to continue trusting officers after Sarah Everard murder

The Commissioner wants to make sure his daughters grow up in a country where they can trust the police.

Monday, 4th October 2021, 2:32 pm
Updated Monday, 4th October 2021, 8:24 pm

The commissioner for Aylesbury's policing area has urged the public to continue to trust officers in the wake of Sarah Everard's murder.

Thames Valley Police Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Barber believes the force is still full of good officers putting their lives at risk to protect the public.

Commissioner Barber, outlined how Everard's gruesome rape and murder coming at the hands of a Metropolitan Police officer, had 'shocked and disgusted' the men and women in his force.

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Matthew Barber, Police and Crime Commissioner

Wayne Couzens, a Metropolitan Police officer, falsely arrested Sarah, before raping and killing her and burying her body.

The Metropolitan Police has authorised an independent investigation into its training, culture, leadership and practices.

Commissioner Barber said: "No one is more shocked and disgusted by these diabolical crimes than the police officers I speak to. Respect and confidence must be earned, but the actions of one man do not represent policing in this country and certainly not in Thames Valley.

"I want to reassure the public that whilst the police must work hard to demonstrate the correct processes and cultures are in place, people should still have confidence in our police officers. They continue to put on their uniform each day, often putting themselves in harms way, to protect the public.

"I have two young daughters and I want them to grow up knowing they can trust the police and that the sight of someone in uniform should be a sign of reassurance. We can never be complacent about upholding the highest standards within policing and the concerns held by many following this case are understandable. Nevertheless, the overwhelming majority of police officers join the Force with the purest of motives and a true desire to keep the public safe."

The commissioner went on to outline his belief that domestic assault remains the biggest threat to women within his policing area.

Police data shows 67,712 violent domestic abuse crimes were reported by the Thames Valley Police over a five-year period.

Commissioner Barber added: "The greatest threat to women in our society is sadly in their own homes, from domestic abuse. Thames Valley Police dedicate significant resources to tackling this crime, as we are leading the way on tackling predatory offenders in the night-time economy.

"Strong, effective policing is part of the solution to the concerns about violence against women, but whilst the culture within policing is important, the culture in our wider society is even more important and we all have a responsibility to hold each other to high standards and protect each other."

In March, 'Project Vigilant', was extended to cover the entirety of the Thames Valley.

The scheme which was trialled in Oxford, involves plain clothes officers identifying predatory behaviour at night in bars and clubs.

When needed uniformed officers will act to stop these predatory incidents, using the intel they receive from the undercover police.