Cambridgeshire chief constable tells residents to call 101 if they are concerned after being approached by officer in light of Sarah Everard case
The chief constable of Cambridgehsire Police has told residents to call 101 if they are concerned about being approached by a police officer in the light of the Sarah Everard case.
Last week, when asked by The Peterborough Telegraph, Chief Constable Nick Dean said residents may want officers to explain their actions when they approach them, after Wayne Couzens was jailed for life for murdering Ms Everard.
Couzens was a serving Met Police officer, who told Ms Everard he was arresting her for breaching COVID regulations - before abducting, raping and murdering her.
Today Mr Dean expanded on the advice he gave last week, telling residents who wish to seek assurance to call 101 to speak to an operator.
He said: “No-one will have escaped the intense media coverage surrounding the case of Wayne Couzens following his conviction for the kidnap, rape and murder of Sarah Everard. This shocking case has inevitably resulted in a challenge to policing’s relationship with the public and the very trust and confidence which we enjoy with our communities.
“At a time such as this, it is vitally important that we do not lose sight of what we are here to do – to continue to ‘police’ with the utmost integrity and impartiality. The foundation of policing is built on policing by consent and here in Cambridgeshire we are fortunate to have public approval. However, we are acutely aware that this cannot, nor should not, be taken for granted.
“My officers and staff strive to deliver a high-quality service to the public, sometimes in very testing circumstances and I am confident that we will continue to do so, even if the trust and confidence that we enjoy here in Cambridgeshire is challenged.
“We understand there may be some people who will seek to reassure themselves that they are dealing with a police officer, and request ‘verification’ of who we are, what we are doing and why – especially in circumstances such as plain clothes policing or officers off duty, who are compelled to uphold the law when not officially ‘on duty’.
“In light of this possible concern, and to reassure those who may be concerned about the officer they are dealing with and whether they are legitimately on duty, our Demand Hub will provide reassurance in one of two ways:
“If any member of the public wishes to seek reassurance for why they have been approached by one of our officers, they can call 101 and speak to an operator in our control room stating that they are with an officer or member of police staff and they want to verify their identity. The officer/police staff’s details will then be taken by a call taker, checked (verifying that the officer was actually on duty and deployed) and the operator will then transmit to the officer so the person can be reassured, or confirm it over the telephone.
“Alternatively, if a police officer/police staff contacts our control room via their radio stating that any member of the public they are with wants verification, the operator can either confirm it over the air (after verifying the officer/police staff was actually on duty and deployed) or contact the person over the phone.
“We know the impact this individual has had on the confidence of the public in policing, as it has on every member of every police force across the country who are here to keep you safe and to prevent and detect crime. We will do what we can to reassure you that we are a professional police service here to protect our community and make Cambridgeshire a safe place to live and work.”