Francesca Kirby has written an Opinion piece for Open Access Gov considering if there will be a shift in sentencing and UK police culture following reports of misconduct in the force.
In a case that shocked the country, serving police officer Wayne Couzens kidnapped, raped and murdered Sarah Everard in March 2021, using his position as a police officer to gain her trust. The life sentence, with a whole life tariff, handed down by Lord Justice Fulford sent a clear message about the unique position of the police. In November it was reported that Metropolitan police officers Deniz Jaffer and Jamie Lewis pleaded guilty to offences of misconduct in a public office, both having taken and shared photographs of the bodies of murdered sisters Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman.
Both cases have triggered a distrust and lack of confidence in the police and further scrutiny of police culture including their use of social media. Recognising that many within the force are often reluctant to come forward to report a colleague's behaviour Francesca comments:
"Institutional change is needed to address the culture that keeps voices marginalised, and the announcement of the review of the internal standards and culture of the police force is a welcome one."
Read full piece here: [Open Access Government]