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Sarah Everard’s murder to be explored in new BBC documentary

BBC team has been in close contact with Everard’s parents during the making of the documentary

Jabed Ahmed
Monday 19 February 2024 11:23 GMT
Duchess of Cambridge visits Sarah Everard vigil

The Metropolitan Police’s investigation into the murder of Sarah Everard by serving officer Wayne Cousins will be explored in a new BBC documentary.

Everard, 33, was raped and killed by PC Wayne Couzens in March 2021, in a high profile case that led to increased fears about women’s safety and the culture within the British police. Everard was walking home in south London when Couzens targeted her.

Couzens pleaded guilty to Everard’s rape and kidnap in June 2021 before admitting to her murder a month later while locked up at Belmarsh high-security jail. He is currently serving a whole-life sentence.

The new BBC documentary, titled Sarah Everard: The Search For Justice, will look at the Met’s investigation into Everard’s murder and how the crime unfolded.

It will be told by those closely involved in the case, including the Senior Investigating Officer, the Prosecuting Barrister and Everard’s local MP.

The production team has been in close contact with Everard’s parents during the making of the documentary. Her parents hope that it will bring increased focus to issues of women’s safety, and abuse of power by police and others in positions of authority.

Sarah Everard was raped and killed as she walked home in south London on 3 March 2021 (Family handout/CPS/PA)

Last year, a review by Baroness Louise Casey, commissioned in the wake of Everard’s murder laid bare a series of grave concerns about the Met Police’s culture and standards.

The damning report found that Britain’s largest police force is institutionally racist, misogynist and homophobic, with unacceptable behaviour being “allowed to flourish.”

Wayne Couzens

The force, which has lurched between a series of scandals in recent years, was placed into special measures following the “rigorous, stark and unsparing” findings, which Baroness Casey said she hopes they will lead to fundamental change in the force.

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An Independent Inquiry launched by the Home Office is underway to examine how the murder could happen, exposing the “unimaginable failures in policing”.

Since Everard’s case, hundreds of police officers continue to face sexual assault allegations, including one of the UK's most prolific sex offenders, David Carrick, offending over a 20-year career in the Metropolitan Police.

Emma Loach, BBC Lead Commissioning Editor, Documentaries, said: “The murder of Sarah Everard sent shock waves across the country and ignited an urgent conversation about police failings and violence against women and girls. This is an important and timely film and we, like Sarah’s family, hope it will contribute to the ongoing dialogue around the issues raised.”

Sarah Everard: The Search For Justice is a 60-minute documentary for BBC One and iPlayer, made by BBC Studios Documentary Unit. It will air later this year.

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