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First phase of Couzens vetting inquiry to be completed within a year

The early career and vetting of Wayne Couzens will be looked at in the official inquiry’s first phase.

The official inquiry into the case of how the murderer of Sarah Everard was able to serve with three police forces will examine if vetting or other failures enabled him to slip through the net.

Three forces and the Independent Office for Police Conduct will be giving evidence to the Angiolini Inquiry which will establish if opportunities were missed to identify the threat posed by Wayne Couzens.

He is now serving a whole-life sentence for the abduction, rape and murder of Sarah Everard.

At the time he was a serving officer with the Metropolitan Police's Diplomatic Protection command but he had previously served with the Civil Nuclear Police and had begun his career as a Special with Kent Constabulary.

The areas of inquiry will be:

The Home Secretary confirmed that the first phase is expected to be completed by the end of this year so that any recommendations can be swiftly implemented.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “I am determined to understand the failings that enabled a serving officer to commit such heinous crimes – we owe an explanation to Sarah’s family and loved ones, and we need to do all in our power to prevent something like this from ever happening again.

“The terms of reference agreed today for the Angiolini Inquiry are vital and will produce learning and recommendations for policing and others. I have assured Dame Elish she has my full support to ensure this inquiry gets the answers the public and the Everard family need as soon as possible.”

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