A North Yorkshire police boss has said murdered York woman Sarah Everard should not have submitted to her false arrest by Wayne Couzens.
Philip Allott, the police and crime commissioner (PCC), said women should be “streetwise” about their rights, and learn about the legal process.
The comments, made on an interview with BBC Radio York, have led to fierce criticism by Labour Party leader Keir Starmer, who called for Mr Allott’s resignation.
Couzens, who was sentenced to life in prison earlier this week, used his status as a Metropolitan Police Officer to falsely arrest Ms Everard, 33, while she was walking home in Clapham, south London.
He then kidnapped, raped, and murdered the marketing executive.
Mr Allott, who won the PCC elections in York and North Yorkshire earlier this year, said: “So women, first of all, need to be streetwise about when they can be arrested and when they can't be arrested. She should never have been arrested and submitted to that," he said.
"Perhaps women need to consider in terms of the legal process, to just learn a bit about that legal process.”
He later defended his comments on social media, tweeting: “Nobody is blaming the victim what I am saying is that we need to inform women far better of their rights, something I intend to action here in North Yorkshire ASAP.”
Mr Allott then deleted the tweet and issued an apology, saying: "I would like to wholeheartedly apologise for my comments on BBC Radio York earlier today, which I realise have been insensitive and wish to retract them in full.
See more: https://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/opinion/columnists/sarah-everard-murder-is-wake-up-call-over-policing-and-misogyny-the-yorkshire-post-says-3404229
Keir Starmer called for his resignation, and said: “He should go. I can’t think of a more inappropriate thing for a police and crime commissioner to say at any time but at this time in particular. He should consider his position.”
Labour MP Barbara Keeley called the comments “appalling.”
She tweeted: “This is appalling and offensive from Conservative PCC Philip Allott
“A murder victim like Sarah Everard is not to blame for what happened when she was arrested by a serving Met police officer.”
Piers Morgan called for the PCC to be sacked, tweeting: "This idiot needs to be fired. Immediately."
Philip Allott was contacted for comment.