How many more are going unvetted? Garraway erupts at Kit Malthouse over police concerns
Kate Garraway grills Kit Malthouse on police vetting
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The minister discussed what the police force would be doing in the wake of Couzens’ sentencing to make women feel safer. But Good Morning Britain host Kate Garraway hit back at claims adequate measures were being taken as she questioned how people can trust the police after details of Couzens’ previous offences emerged. Interviewing the MP with co-host Ben Shephard, Garraway cut in to address how many more unvetted situations of a similar nature are taking place.
“It’s not a great morning is it?” Garraway began as she introduced Malthouse.
“It’s a very very sad morning when women, young girls and others – men too – are feeling such a terrible loss of trust in a police force.”
“Yeah,” the minister agreed. “I mean I’ve spent a decade or more working alongside the police and it’s easily one of the most devastating mornings for UK police that we’ve had for a long time.
“Obviously the primary devastation and concern is for Sarah Everard’s family who, as a father myself, I can’t imagine what they’re going through.”
More to follow…
“There seems to have been a whole number of potential failings that led inevitably to the utter tragedy of her death,” the 54-year-old noted.
“Failure to investigate allegations of indecent exposure properly, failures to check who owned the car where this indecent exposure took place, seemingly a WhatsApp group with other members of the police force in the Met and also across the country other police forces as well, sharing disturbing material.
“Why could this go so badly wrong? Because we know that police officers do an incredible job, good police officers are equally suffering because of these failures.
“And yet we’re in a situation where the police, who are there to protect us, don’t seem to have been able to have policed themselves.”
“You’re spot on,” Matlhouse replied, adding: “One of the things we’ll be looking at very seriously is how this monster could have slipped through the net.
“Police forces have robust vetting procedures, trying to weed out those people whoa re not suitable to be police officers – this seems not to have worked in these circumstances.
“We have seen some improvements in vetting recently, the Metropolitan Police earlier this year for example started looking closely at officers’ social media to see what the could detect.”
Malthouse said there would be “a job to be done” to rebuild trust within the public.
On the suggested solution of calling the police if unsure whether or not an officer is acting legitimately towards a member of the public, Shephard and Garraway echoed public concerns.
Shephard stated: “This is such a sad indictment of where we are of what this government has allowed our police force to get to, where the police force is as well.”
“I think that’s an unfair characterisation,” Malthouse responded. “This is a devastating consequence of this appalling man-“
Garraway cut in to argue: “But it’s not that though! He seems to be on a WhatsApp group with other police officers that are now being investigated that has come to light because of this case.
“How many other situations are going unvetted? We know that a huge number of allegations – 750 – have been put against serving police officers of sexual misconduct.
“Very few of them led to charges. Now, that might mean that the others were found to be unfounded, we don’t know the details of that.
“But it’s not confidence-inducing. And the practical reality that if someone is nervous – which people will be the next week at least – calling 999 to call another police officer to take time away from that police officer going to sort out another problem – that is the solution to this problem today from the policing minister!”
Good Morning Britain airs weekdays at 6am on ITV.
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