Socialist Worker

The alleged killer of Sarah Everard belonged to institutionally sexist force

by Simon Basketter
Issue No. 2746

The police at protests over the weekend

The police at protests over the weekend (Pic: Guy Smallman)


Wayne Couzens is charged with the ­kidnapping and murder of Sarah Everard. He is a ­firearms officer from Scotland Yard’s elite Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command.

He was arrested last week after Sarah disappeared when walking home to Brixton from Clapham in south London.

Couzens joined the Metropolitan Police in September 2018 when he worked for a response team covering Bromley. He then moved to the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command in February last year.

Thousands defy police bans to demand an end to violence against women
Thousands defy police bans to demand an end to violence against women
  Read More

Prior to joining the police, Couzens was in the Territorial Army. He served as a reservist with the 3rd Battalion, the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment, based in Canterbury, from 2002 to 2004.

His first armed police job before joining the Met was protecting Dungeness nuclear power station as part of the Strategic Escort Group.

He was equipped with a rifle as he accompanied nuclear material being ­transported around the country. The role ended when he failed an annual ­fitness test. He was effectively demoted to guarding the power station building.

The Metropolitan Police have made five referrals over the case to the tame police watchdog.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has confirmed it will probe one referral relating to the Met’s handling of an indecent exposure complaint made against Couzens.

It is alleged that he exposed himself twice in one day to staff inside a McDonald’s in Swanley, in Kent.

The police have repeatedly pointed out that Couzens was off duty when Sarah Everard disappeared although he had the day before been on duty guarding the US embassy.

Questions remain over whether he was in uniform on the evening Sarah disappeared and whether he had his warrant card with him.

Couzens was charged with the kidnap and murder of Sarah on 12 March. He appeared in court on 13 March and is set to appear again on Tuesday.

He will continue to receive his police salary.

The police are once again sinking in a swamp of their own making.


Cops prop up an unjust capitalist system

Our rulers tell us that the police exist to protect everyone equally and that they keep us safe from crime. In reality their role is to protect one section of society.

The police’s real role is as part of the state. They are there to do one thing—protect the property of the minority that owns it against the mass of the people who do not.

The state tries to ensure that it alone possesses a monopoly on physical force. Although it claims to operate in the name of society as a whole, in fact it operates as the instrument of the rich to oppress the poor.

The justice system is a reflection of the society it protects. The system itself is inherently unjust, sexist and racist.

The police exist to prop up this grubby system, so they accept the ideas that flow from it. This is why they are racist and sexist to the core.

It’s why black people are disproportionately likely to die in police custody. And it’s why victims of domestic violence and rape are routinely ignored.

These ideas are reinforced by the police’s day to day work. They wield enormous power over others. And they are socialised within the force to stereotype sections of workers and to treat them with suspicion and contempt.

The police enforce what those at the top like to call the rule of law. But the rule of law is only about enforcing the rules that legitimise and protect the existing system.

The role of the cops is to uphold a racist, violent system and to do this they dish out racism, intimidation and violence.

There is no lack of “professionalism” in the police who attacked the vigil last Saturday. They did what they were meant to do.


Click here to subscribe to our daily morning email newsletter 'Breakfast in red'


Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.