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Second phase of Couzens inquiry to be completed within 24 months

Part two of this inquiry aims to establish if there is a risk of recurrence across policing, and will also investigate police culture and address the broader concerns surrounding women’s safety.

The degree to which police culture enables misogynistic and predatory attitudes and behaviours will be examined as part of the second phase of an ongoing inquiry into the rape and murder of Sarah Everard.

Part one of the inquiry, which is being chaired by former Lord Advocate Dame Elish Angiolini, is looking at the career and conduct of Wayne Couzens - including identifying any opportunities missed.

Draft terms of reference have now been published for part two, which has been brought forward by the government and will now also consider the case of David Carrick.

The overarching aim of part two of this inquiry is to establish whether there is a risk of recurrence across policing, to investigate police culture and to address the broader concerns surrounding women’s safety in public spaces highlighted by Couzens's crimes.

Dame Angiolini will draw upon evidence from the HMICFRS report on vetting, misconduct and misogyny in the police service and from Baroness Casey’s review while undertaking this work.

The areas to be examined include:

The ability of forces to attract suitable candidates, application and assessment processes - including for specialist firearms roles and force transfers - and the interplay between force and National Security Vetting are among the aspects that will be examined under the first of these three areas.

How police culture affects its response to reports of crime, whether this culture creates barriers to reporting crimes of indecent exposure and the adequacy of counter-corruption measures to identify and manage the risk of VAWG misconduct form part of what will be examined under the second heading.

The third area will involve producing a summary of existing measures to prevent sexually motivated violence against women in public spaces.

There will be a four-week consultation phase on these terms of reference, after which a final report is to be delivered within 24 months.

Further terms of reference for the case of David Carrick are to be added in due course.

It was intended that phase one of the inquiry would be completed within a year of last January; in July, Dame Angiolini confirmed to the Home Secretary that she would be unable to finalise her first report until the ongoing criminal proceedings against Couzens have concluded.

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