Almost half of women trust the police less since off-duty officer Wayne Couzens murdered Sarah Everard, a survey has suggested.
A poll of 1699 adults by YouGov, on behalf of the End Violence Against Women (EVAW) coalition, found 47% of women and 40% of men polled said trust in the police has decreased since the details of Couzens’ crimes were made public in court.
Nearly one in three women (29%) said they continue to trust the police despite Couzens’ actions.
Couzens will spend the rest of his life behind bars after he abducted, raped and murdered 33-year-old Ms Everard near Clapham Common in south London in March while serving as an officer in the Metropolitan Police.
The atrocity triggered a widespread public outcry, prompted a Government crackdown on sexual harassment as part of its strategy to tackle violence against women and girls, and caused home secretary Priti Patel to promise a “thorough review” of police vetting.
The poll also suggested three quarters of women (76%) said they felt the culture of policing has to change in order to better respond to violence against women and girls.
Andrea Simon, EVAW director, said: “The police and Government response to legitimate public outpourings of anger and distress about police failings have fundamentally missed the mark.
“We are yet to see any commitment and accountability for the meaningful internal work needed to shift the institutional cultures and practices that excuse and enable this harmful behaviour – instead we have seen superficial and unevidenced measures announced that feel like a PR exercise.”