Sarah Everard’s murder by PC Wayne Couzens must be national watershed – The Yorkshire Post says

OUR thoughts are, first and foremost, with the family and friends of Sarah Everard after her kidnap, rape and murder by a Metropolitan Police officer, sickened the nation – their dignity, as they carry the burden of their loss for the rest of their lives, still humbles us all.

The nation continues to be rocked by the abduction and murder of sarah Everard by a serving Metropolitan Police officer.

They’re with all those women who are still too frightened to walk the streets despite the knowledge that Wayne Couzens will die behind bars after being handed a whole life sentence by Lord Justice Fulford who made specific reference to how the defendant abused his position of authority.

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And they’re also with the nation’s police, the very people who sprint towards danger while others run away from it, who are equally revulsed by the indescribable depravity of Couzens and how this evil monster besmirched their profession and eroded public trust.

A vigil in Leeds after Sarah Everard's murder in March.

Yet, while the Old Bailey judge did praise the handling of this heinous crime, there are, nevertheless, important lessons that both the police need to embrace following the murder of Sarah whose family come from York, the more recent death of teacher Sabina Neesa and a long list of other cases that, to our collective shame, have not received the attention that the victims, and their families, deserve.

West Yorkshire MP Yvette Cooper, chair of Parliament’s Home Affairs Select Committee, makes a profound point with her call for an independent inquiry “into violence against women and girls within the police service itself” – and how alleged offences are investigated.

But belated overhauls of procedure also demand societal change so women – whatever the circumstances – no longer feel demeaned, intimidated or threatened by men. And it needs an acceptance that everyone has a part to play in sparing others from the life sentence facing the Everard family after the indescribable loss of their beloved Sarah.

Placards left at a vigil in Leeds after Sarah Everard's murder in March.

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