Jolyon Maugham, the executive director of the Good Law Project, a governance watchdog, said people had understandably lost trust in the police and the criminal justice system.
“You don’t restore trust with victim-blaming, and you don’t restore trust with preposterous suggestions that people run away if they’re not sure if it’s a bona fide police officer, or wave down a passing bus driver,” he said. “What the hell is a bus driver going to do?”
The Metropolitan Police acknowledged that the details of Mr. Couzens’ abuse of power had shaken the force, and that it was among a number of high profile cases that “bring into sharp focus our urgent duty to do more to protect women and girls. ”
It also for the first time acknowledged that there may have been missteps in vetting Mr. Couzens before he joined the force, and said that an investigation was ongoing into an allegation of indecent exposure by the officer days before Ms. Everard was abducted.
A review into Mr. Couzens’ vetting process began after his arrest for the killing of Ms. Everard, the Metropolitan Police said. While he had passed the vetting process, the review also found that one of the checks into his background “may not have been undertaken correctly” and failed to turn up an allegation of indecent exposure in Kent in 2015.
Some opposition lawmakers have called for the resignation of the head of London’s police force, Cressida Dick, while others have pushed for a broader investigation into potential systemic failures.