BBC to air Sarah Everard documentary

The family of Sarah Everard hope a new BBC documentary will “contribute to the ongoing dialogue” around violence against women and the way police approach these types of cases.

On Monday, a new documentary called Sarah Everard: The Search For Justice was announced for BBC One to look at the aftermath of the 33-year-old London marketing executive’s murder and “how this devastating crime unfolded”.

The 60-minute programme’s production team worked closely with Ms Everard’s parents.

“They hope that it will bring increased focus to issues of women’s safety, and abuse of power by police and other in positions of authority,” the BBC said.

Wayne Couzens court case
Sarah Everard was kidnapped in south west London on March 3 2021 (CPS/PA)

“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.”

The senior investigating officer, the prosecuting barrister and Everard’s local MP will also feature in the BBC Factual programme.

Wayne Couzens, who was an Metropolitan Police officer off-duty, kidnapped Everard as she walked home through Clapham, south west London on March 3 2021 and then raped and murdered her.

The actions of Couzens, who was later convicted of a series of earlier offences of indecent exposure, prompted a widespread outpouring of grief and demonstrations over concern for women’s safety.

A vigil for Ms Everard, held amid ongoing Covid restrictions in March 2021, led to arrests by the Metropolitan Police which subsequently made pay-outs to two women.

An outpouring of anger at Ms Everard’s murder by a serving police officer led to hundreds of people attending the event, including the Princess of Wales.

The Met was criticised for its heavy handling of the later stages of the vigil, with outrage that some women were bundled to the ground, and its “tone-deaf” reaction in the aftermath.

Sarah Everard death
A woman holds up a placard as people gather on Clapham Common, London, after the Reclaim These Streets vigil for Sarah Everard was officially cancelled (Victoria Jones/PA)

The Casey Review, published in March 2023, found the Met to be institutionally racist, misogynist and homophobic.

An inspection, commissioned in October 2021 by then-home secretary Dame Priti Patel in the wake of Ms Everard’s murder, concluded a culture of misogyny, sexism and predatory behaviour towards female police officers and staff and members of the public still exists and is “prevalent” in many forces.

Last year, plans were unveiled by the Government that would give chief constables or other senior officers greater powers to root out and sack rogue staff from their forces, and for senior officers to preside over misconduct hearings.

These new disciplinary powers for police chiefs, including the ability to sack officers found guilty of wrongdoing, could be introduced from April, a minister said in November.

It is understood the documentary will not feature pictures of Couzens next to Everard in the film, in line with the family’s wishes.

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