Update on IOPC investigations linked to Wayne Couzens

5 Oct 2021 04:07 PM

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) recently reiterated it is conducting thorough and independent investigations into a number of matters linked to Wayne Couzens and is working to ensure completion soon as possible.

Regional Director Sal Naseem recently said:

“We are concerned about information that has emerged since Couzens was sentenced to a whole life term for the murder of Sarah Everard. We are continually reviewing any new information which comes to light.

“Our thoughts also remain with Sarah’s family, friends and all of those affected.

“We would like to reiterate to police officers and staff, current or former, that we have a whistleblowing line for police officers and staff to report concerns of wrongdoing where they believe a criminal offence has been committed, or evidence of conduct that would justify disciplinary proceedings.

“Members of the public can find out more about how to make a complaint about a police force on our website www.policeconduct.gov.uk.

“Our investigations into how Kent Police in 2015, and the MPS in 2021, handled allegations of indecent exposure now linked to Couzens will progress as swiftly as possible following his sentencing for kidnap, rape and murder.

“Two MPS officers have been served by us with misconduct notices for possible breaches of professional standards relating to duties and responsibilities.

“The serving of misconduct notices does not mean disciplinary action will necessarily follow.

“In both investigations we are looking whether the appropriate actions were taken by both forces, including whether policies and procedures were followed. We are also considering whether any issues identified may have impacted on the vetting of Couzens.“

The IOPC is independent of police and our investigations of these serious issues will be both thorough and impartial. We will provide information on the conclusions as soon as we are in a position to do so.

If there are issues identified from any of our current investigations, we will ensure forces work to address these as a matter of urgency to help restore public confidence in policing.  

It is important not to speculate on the outcomes of these investigations while they remain live.  

On Thursday 30 September, we confirmed four other linked investigations.

On 9 July we also issued an update.

The IOPC has oversight of police complaints made to 43 police forces across England and Wales. We investigate the most serious complaints, like those involving deaths, serious injuries or corruption.