South Yorkshire PCC seeks to address gaps in victim support in light of Sarah Everard murder

A South Yorkshire police chief has said ‘much more needs to be done’ to reduce violence against women, after Sarah Everard’s murderer was jailed.

Thursday, 30th September 2021, 4:16 pm

In a statement, Dr Alan Billings, South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner said: “What we have now learnt from the trial of Sarah Everard’s killer is absolutely chilling.

“We are thankful that the killer was very swiftly brought to justice and that the judge has sent him away for the rest of his life. This is absolutely the right sentence.

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Dr Alan Billings, South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner.

“But this trial also highlights the fact that the victims of these most serious crimes are not just the immediate victim but also their family and friends as well. Their lives are changed forever.

“I also know that police officers, both here in South Yorkshire and across the country, are sickened that someone who wore their uniform was capable of such a horrific act.

“However, this will have damaged the trust that some women will have in the police and we must recognise that and work hard to re-establish confidence.

“Over the last few years we have seen violence against women and girls, including in domestic settings, escalating and that is why I have put it as a priority in my Police and Crime Plan.

“I recognise that the police are working hard to improve their response to this violence and that there have been considerable improvements in recent years.

“But, I also recognise that much more needs to be done and that is why next month I will be hosting a roundtable event with police and other partners from across South Yorkshire and the criminal justice world.

“Here we will map what each organisation is doing, seek to understand how victims can be better supported and whether there are any gaps that need addressing.

“We will also consider where funding can be provided to support the voluntary sector who work to prevent violence or to support victims.

“I am determined that we will commit ourselves totally to bring about whatever improvements are needed.”

Wayne Couzens, 48, was given a whole life order, meaning he will spend the rest of his life behind bars, after admitting the murder of Ms Everard.