Sarah Everard murder: All the sexual misconduct hearings involving Northamptonshire Police officers since 2016

Two out of four disciplinary cases involved members of the public

Monday, 11th October 2021, 1:25 pm

Four hearings into sexual misconduct by Northamptonshire Police officers were held between 2016 and 2020.

New figures showed at least 750 allegations of sexual misconduct were made against serving officers across Britain over the period.

Data was obtained from 31 forces in England, Wales and Scotland under the Freedom of Information Act in the wake of serving Met Police officer Wayne Couzens being sentenced to a whole life term for the murder of Sarah Everard.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Sarah Everard's gruesome murder sparked outrage

A court heard how Couzens abducted the 33-year-old as she walked home using the guise of an arrest.

There have been calls for all serving officers to be vetted after it was found Couzens' links to allegations of indecent exposure had been missed.

Two of the four Northamptonshire officers were involved in incidents with members of the public and two with police colleagues.

One was sacked, one resigned before he could be fired and two were given written warnings.

Northamptonshire Police has around 1,300 officers with plans to increase numbers by 2023.

Neighbouring Thames Valley Police dealt with 91 complaints of sexual misconduct, although it has more than three times the number of officers.

PC Declan Gabriel was sacked without notice in October 2017 eight months after being found not guilty of raping a 17-year-old girl in a lay-by near Northampton while on duty.

A disciplinary hearing after the trial ruled Gabriel had kept the teenager in his car for hours instead of taking her to a safe place, asking her questions regarding her sexual experiences.

The panel also heard the officer unzipped his trousers and placed his hands in his underwear while alone with the girl.

In July 2020 one officer was given a written warning for sending a selfie of a sexual nature to a person known to them and with their consent.

In June 2018, a Police Constable in a personal relationship with another officer engaged in sexual contact while on work premises. The officer had already resigned before a misconduct hearing ruled he would have been dismissed.

And in September 2016 an officer was given a final written warning over accusations of making "inappropriate sexual and

offensive remarks towards and in the presence of colleagues.

The Old Bailey heard last month how Couzens used knowledge gained from working on Covid patrols and his Metropolitan Police-issue warrant card and handcuffs to trick Sarah Everard into believing she was being arrested for breaching coronavirus guidelines.

The firearms-trained parliamentary and diplomatic protection officer drove to a secluded rural area near Dover where he raped Ms Everard.

Couzens, who was married with two children, then burned the marketing executive's body in a refrigerator in an area of woodland he owned near Ashford, before dumping the remains in a nearby pond.

On 9 March, he was arrested at his home in Deal, Kent, after police connected him to a hire car he used to abduct Ms Everard. Her remains were found by police dogs the next day, she had been strangled with Couzens' police-issue belt.

Northamptonshire Chief Constable Nick Adderley described Couzens' actions as "despicable" and immediately ordered all plain-clothed officers to only operate in pairs.

He also told anybody with doubts to call the Force Control Room on 101 to check.

Mr Adderley said: "I know you will all share my horror at the actions of this man. Police officers and staff who want to protect the public are sickened by his crimes."