Sarah Everard: Nicola Sturgeon calls police commissioner's 'women need to be streetwise' comment 'appalling'
North Yorkshire’s police, fire and crime commissioner Philip Allott has faced criticism after saying that Sarah Everard “never should have submitted” to her arrest by Wayne Couzens – a former Metropolitan Police officer who raped, kidnapped and murdered her.
During Couzens’ recent sentencing, it had emerged he had tricked the 33-year-old woman originally from York by falsely arresting her for ‘a breach of coronavirus guidelines’.
Speaking to BBC Radio, Conservative Mr Allott said women should be aware this was not an indictable offence.
He 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.
“Perhaps women need to consider in terms of the legal process, to just learn a bit about that legal process.”
Responding to the comments made, Scotland’s First Minister highlighted that it is not up to women to ‘fix’ male violence.
Ms Sturgeon tweeted: “These comments are appalling.
“It’s not up to women to fix this. It’s not us who need to change.
“The problem is male violence, not women’s ‘failure’ to find ever more inventive ways to protect ourselves against it. For change to happen, this needs to be accepted by everyone.”
The First Minister’s comments come after the Metropolitan Police faced criticism after telling people to “run away” if they feel unsafe in the presence of a lone police officer.
A spokesperson for the force said it is unusual for a single plainclothes police officer to engage with people and that you should attempt to verify their “identity and intentions” if they do so.
A Metropolitan Police spokesperson added: “If after all of that you feel in real and imminent danger and you do not believe the officer is who they say they are, for whatever reason, then I would say you must seek assistance – shouting out to a passer-by, running into a house, knocking on a door, waving a bus down or if you are in the position to do so calling 999.”
Rape Crisis Scotland helpline: 08088 01 03 02
Scottish Women’s Aid helpline: 0800 027 1234
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