Liberty responds to the sentencing of Sarah Everard’s killer

Posted on 30 Sep 2021

Liberty has responded to news from the sentencing hearing of Wayne Couzens for the attack on Sarah Everard, while he was a serving Metropolitan Police Officer.

A spokesperson for Liberty said: ‘This is a terrible tragedy and our thoughts are with Sarah Everard’s friends and family and all those who have been affected by this case.

‘We should all be able to live our lives safe from the abuse of power. However, this is not the reality for many who face the brunt of structural and state violence.

‘This has been a personal tragedy for everyone who knew Sarah. The fact that another young woman – Sabina Nessa –  has been killed in recent weeks is yet another reminder that violence is the daily reality for women in Britain. Both cases highlight the urgency of discussions over gender-based violence.

‘What the case of Sarah Everard has also highlighted is the long-held concerns over the culture of British policing, and its place in society. Like many others, we have long called for a rollback of police powers, which are part of a system enables the abuse of power, a fact that is well-known to the communities who face regular police violence and harassment, especially people of colour and Black communities in particular.

‘It is therefore worrying that current political thinking across the board appears to prioritise increased police powers, from the Government’s Policing Bill to the plans laid out this week by the Labour party.

‘We should not be handing more powers to the police. Rather than talking about how to live with and stay safe from abuse of power, we need to be having meaningful discussions about removing these powers and looking to alternative ways to keep communities safe.’

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