Met and Kent police officers face misconduct cases over Wayne Couzens indecent exposure reports

Undated handout file photo issued by the Metropolitan Police of Sarah Everard's killer Wayne Couzens who will return to the Old Bailey on Monday to enter pleas after being charged with flashing. Issue date: Monday October 3, 2022.
Two police officers are facing misconduct cases over Wayne Couzens indecent exposure reports Credit: ITV News

Two police officers are facing misconduct cases over the handling of reports of indecent exposure by former Met officer Wayne Couzens before he murdered Sarah Everard, a watchdog has said.

It comes after convicted killer Couzens admitted three counts of indecent exposure before he abducted, raped and murdered Sarah Everard.

The 49-year-old former Metropolitan Police officer pleaded guilty to the three counts in Kent between November 2020 and February 2021 on Monday 13 February.

The killer, who is serving a whole-life sentence for Ms Everard's murder, entered the pleas at the Old Bailey by video link from Frankland jail.

A Metropolitan Police constable has a case to answer for gross misconduct and a Kent Police sergeant will face a misconduct meeting over the separate reports of indecent exposure by the then Met officer Couzens, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said.

Sarah Everard, 33, was raped and murdered by serving Met Police officer. Credit: PA

IOPC Regional Director Sal Naseem said: “We have been unable to publish our findings until now due to the risk of prejudicing criminal proceedings against Couzens.

"Now that those have concluded it will be for the Metropolitan and Kent police forces to organise disciplinary proceedings which will consider the evidence we have gathered and determine whether the allegations against the officers are proven or not.”

The Met Police officer is also accused of breaching the standards relating to honesty and integrity over parts of an account provided to IOPC investigators in respect of the alleged failings.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct said it launched its investigation after a referral from the Metropolitan Police Service on 10 March 2021 concerning the investigation into reports a man had exposed himself to female staff on two occasions on 14 and 27 February 2021 at a drive-through fast food restaurant in south London.

Couzens is said to have looked straight at the workers while sitting in his car as he paid for his food.

The second offence on 27 February happened just four days before he used his position to trick Ms Everard into his car.

Couzens pled guilty to these offences yesterday.

The IOPC investigation, which concluded in January 2022, examined if inquiries were adequately conducted and supervised.

The watchdog concluded the constable has a case to answer for gross misconduct and it will be for the MPS to organise the misconduct hearing, at which a panel led by an independent and legally qualified chair will decide whether the allegations are proven.

It also found another Met Police officer had no case to answer, regarding their supervision of the indecent exposure enquiries.

A Kent Police officer is also facing a misconduct case for a report alleging that a man driving a car - belonging to Couzens - indecently exposed himself to a pedestrian in Dover in June 2015.

The IOPC launched its probe in May 2021 and concluded the sergeant has a case to answer for on alleged failures in conduct.

The watchdog found no evidence to suggest that Wayne Couzens was identified as a police officer and he was not spoken to.

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