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Nicola Sturgeon blasts ‘appalling’ cops commissioner over Sarah Everard comments

Nicola Sturgeon has blasted a Tory police boss over his “appalling” comments about the death of tragic Sarah Everard.

The First Minister took to social media to make her feelings known about North Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Allott who said Everard should have been “streetwise” and never have “submitted” to her fake arrest.

His comments on BBC radio have sparked controversy after the details came out when Metropolitan Police officer Wayne Couzens was sentenced to life in prison for the kidnapped, rape and murder of Everard in March this year.

Couzens deceived the 33-year-old marketing executive in London by saying she had broken strict covid lockdown rules.

But Allott said women must be “streetwise” about when they “can and can’t be arrested”.

Nicola Sturgeon has hit out at Philip Allott over his comments

In response, the SNP leader tweeted: “These comments are appalling. It’s not up to women to fix this. It’s not us who need to change.

“The problem is male violence, not women’s ‘failure’ to find ever more inventive ways to protect ourselves against it.

“For change to happen, this needs to be accepted by everyone.”

Speaking earlier today, Allott said: “So women, first of all, need to be streetwise about when they can be arrested and when they can’t be arrested.

“She should never have been arrested and submitted to that.

“Perhaps women need to consider in terms of the legal process, to just learn a bit about that legal process.”

It comes as police are investigating whether Couzens could be responsible for more crimes, after it emerged his vehicles were linked to two earlier indecent exposure allegations.

One of the allegations was just 72 hours before Couzens killed Everard.

While he was not named as a suspect in the south London incident, a DVLA check on a car linked to it would have revealed him as the registered owner.

Met Police Assistant Commissioner Nick Ephgrave said the investigation into the indecent exposure had been “ongoing” at the time Couzens killed Everard.

He said the Met had been referred to the police watchdog and a file sent to the Crown Prosecution Service in relation to the alleged crime itself.

The senior officer also admitted a check when Couzens transferred to the Metropolitan Police in 2018 was not done “correctly”.

It did not flag up that a vehicle associated with Couzens had been identified in a Kent Police investigation into an indecent exposure in 2015.

But he said that even if it had come up in the vetting process, it would not have changed the outcome.

The senior Met officer was quizzed on whether the two incidents provided enough information to identify Couzens as a threat to women before he killed Everard.

He stressed the Kent Police investigation resulted in no further action and Couzens was never named as a suspect.

The officer went on to confirm that a claim that Couzens had watched “extreme” pornography in the past only emerged after the investigation into Everard’s death.

He said: “We ask anyone in the service or any member of the public that might have any information about Couzens’ behaviour – either as an officer or member of the public – that might be relevant, please come forward.”

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