Statement following the sentencing of former Metropolitan Police officer Wayne Couzens
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Staffordshire Police would like to reassure its communities following the sentencing of former Metropolitan Police officer Wayne Couzens for the horrific murder of Sarah Everard.
Assistant Chief Constable Jennie Mattinson said: "Following events in London, the sentencing of Sarah Everard's murderer cannot remove the pain and suffering of her family or loved ones. Our thoughts are firstly with them.
"Policing, as a whole, has been rocked by this tragedy and the thought that a serving officer abused his position and turned against everything we are here to do is sickening. Wayne Couzens has betrayed everything we stand for.
"His monstrous actions were a terrible abuse of power and do not represent policing. Police officers and staff are sickened by this man’s crimes.
"Staffordshire Police is committed to building upon the trust and respect we already have with our communities to ensure all – particularly women, children and the most vulnerable – feel safe and are safe in our county. We want to make the streets of Staffordshire as safe as possible, in line with our vision of a Safer Staffordshire.
"We understand how deeply concerning his actions are and the desire to know how to verify an officers’ identity.
"Police officers always carry identification and can always be asked for verification. They are used to providing that reassurance.
"Our officers will not always be in uniform, but it would be extremely unusual for an officer in plain clothes to be working alone. If they are, they should be calling for assistance with other officers arriving very soon to support them to help you if you are in need.
"In light of the actions of Wayne Couzens, it is right that police officers expect and are tolerant of those who wish to be further reassured. They will want to explain and reassure who they are, what they are doing and why."
If you cannot verify an officer’s identity, or feel in imminent danger, you must seek assistance, even if that means shouting out to another member of the public, flagging down a vehicle or dialling 999.