Statement from Chief Constable Kier Pritchard regarding the murder of Sarah Everard:
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The thoughts of every single officer, member of staff and volunteer at Wiltshire Police are with Sarah Everard, her family and friends.
Put simply, policing has been rocked by this tragedy and Wayne Couzens has very clearly betrayed everything we all stand for.
It is now more important than ever that we continue to work as hard as we can with our partners and the communities we serve to rebuild trust, particularly with women and girls, which has clearly been significantly damaged by this case.
This case has, understandably, led to an outpouring of concern about how our communities can verify an officer’s identity and know what they are doing is proportionate, legal and, most importantly, safe.
In light of this, it is only right that my operational colleagues expect and are tolerant of those who wish to be further reassured in our interactions with you.
I have asked my officers to all take additional time to explain and reassure the public who they are, what they are doing and why.
Members of the public absolutely have the right to question my officers and ask for verification of them and their actions.
Sarah’s horrific death was the result of one person but everyone within the police service now has a responsibility to help regain the public’s confidence and rebuild the trust which has been called into question.