CPS considering charges against Met officers over Wayne Couzens messages

Sarah Everard

Three Metropolitan police officers who worked with Sarah Everard’s killer Wayne Couzens could face charges over allegations they shared racist and misogynistic messages with him.

“Grossly offensive”

Prosecutors are considering a file of evidence referred by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) into the “alleged sending and sharing of inappropriate messages by police officers”. Couzens is serving a whole-life order after kidnapping, raping, and murdering the 33-year-old last year.

The watchdog has sent evidence concerning two serving Met officers, and a former officer at the force, for consideration of offences regarding “grossly offensive material” under the Communications Act. It comes after the IOPC launched a probe into claims they and other officers sent “discriminatory messages” – reportedly racist and misogynistic – over WhatsApp between March and October 2019 after the information was recovered from an old mobile phone found during the police probe into Everard’s murder.

Wayne Couzens court case
Wayne Couzens will be behind bars for the rest of his life (Metropolitan Police/PA)

A Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) spokesperson said:

We are considering a file of evidence referred to us by the IOPC in relation to the alleged sending and sharing of inappropriate messages by police officers.

Read on...

The IOPC said:

Our investigation into the sending and sharing of inappropriate messages by officers on WhatsApp has been completed.

We provided a file of evidence to the CPS in December to consider potential offences against three individuals under the Communications Act 2003. We await its decision.

The Met confirmed the two serving officers are on restricted duties. A force spokesperson said:

We are keenly aware that the events following Sarah Everard’s death have rocked the public’s faith in us, and we know that we have to work hard and make real changes in order to earn back that trust.

Every Met employee has been personally emailed by the commissioner about adhering to professional boundaries, their use of social media, and their duty to call out inappropriate behaviour and report prejudice.

The IOPC has concluded the investigation into another Met officer, one from Norfolk, and one from the Civil Nuclear Constabulary – where Couzens previously worked – but said it is currently unable to comment further on whether it has recommended disciplinary proceedings.

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us