Boris Johnson backs Met Commissioner Cressida Dick and urges public to ‘trust the police’

The Prime Minister’s comments comes after calls for the Police Commissioner Cressida Dick to resign after the sentencing of Wayne Couzens

Boris Johnson has backed Met commissioner Cressida Dick and urged the public to “trust the police”.

The Prime Minister acknowledged a problem with how cases of rape and violence against women in the UK are handled, but promised to fix a “snarled-up system”.

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His comments follow the jailing of Wayne Couzens for the kidnapping and murder of Sarah Everard. Couzens was sentenced to a whole-life order for the “grotesque” killing of the 33-year-old.

At a glance: 5 key points

  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson has urged the UK public to “trust in the police”, saying he does believe in the police, and he does “think we can trust the police”.
  • Mr Johnson also said he backs Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick. Commissioner Dick has faced calls to resign after the man who murdered Sarah Everard was a serving officer. 
  • A YouGov poll found 38 per cent of adults in the UK think Dame Cressida should resign.
  • The Prime Minister acknowledged problems in how violence against women and girls in the UK is tackled, and promised to fix a “snarled-up system”.
  • He said authorities should “come down hard” on officers found guilty of misconduct. 

What did the Prime Minister say?

Boris Johnson acknowledged "there is a problem" with how cases of rape and violence against women are handled.

"I do believe in the police. I do think that we can trust the police. And I think the police do a wonderful, wonderful job," he said.

"But there is a problem. And there is a problem in the way we handle rape, domestic violence, sexual violence and the way we handle the complaints of women and girls. And it’s overwhelmingly women and girls.

"And, although the incidence of some of these serious crimes is not actually going up in the way that you might think - we are having success in getting many crime types down - the problem is we have too few prosecutions for rape and too few successful prosecutions, too few convictions."

Mr Johnson also said he has confidence in the Metropolitan Police after the vetting failures of their officers. He said: "Yes I do. And I think that needs to be looked into.

"And I think that (Home Secretary) Priti Patel is absolutely right, we’ve got to get to the bottom of what on earth happened with Wayne Couzens, we need to make sure that nothing like that happens again.

But what we’re doing is now not just putting more, a lot more money into safer streets, into CCTV... but recruiting more female police officers. And I think that can make the most fundamental change of all."

Mr Johnson added that hundreds of thousands of officers will be "heartsick" by the "appalling murder of Sarah Everard".

"I think there will be hundreds of thousands of police officers, let alone myself, up and down the country who will be absolutely heartsick by what has happened, the appalling murder of Sarah Everard by a police officer," he said.

"And what I would really urge the public, I want to make it clear, I do believe in the police."

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