APCC Joint Victims Leads respond to the Angiolini Inquiry Part 1 Report findings


Following publication today of the Angiolini Inquiry Part 1 Report, the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners’ APCC's Joint Victims Leads, Sophie Linden and Caroline Henry said:  

"Reading Lady Angiolini’s findings today must have been immensely difficult for Sarah Everard’s family and our thoughts remain with them.   

"Every woman and girl has the right to feel safe in their communities. However, today’s report lays bare the repeated failures over 20 years and by multiple forces that enabled Wayne Couzens, a serving police officer, to indulge in his predatory and dangerously deviant behaviour towards women, culminating in the appalling abduction, rape and murder of Sarah Everard.  

"As Lady Angiolini has found, Couzens should never have been a police officer and countless opportunities to identify him as a danger to women were either missed or ignored.  

"The report highlights not only unforgiveable apathy and disinterest by officers who were meant to be investigating reported cases of indecent exposure in 2015 and 2021 where there were clear lines of inquiry linking Couzens to the crimes, but that officers actively found reasons not to pursue the cases.  

"Red flags relating to his history of alleged sexual offending and his poor management of mounting debt were either not spotted or not seen as worthy of further scrutiny.   

"Along with failures in police vetting and a culture within policing that allowed for his deeply offensive and misogynistic views to go unchallenged, Couzens’ offending escalated to use of his position as a police officer to target and intimidate women for years before he murdered Sarah.   

"It is clear women have been badly let down, and victims of sexual crimes have not been taken seriously enough by those who are responsible for investigating those crimes; public trust and confidence has been seriously damaged. It is crucial that women’s trust in the police protecting them is rebuilt.  

"Nothing less than a transformation is needed in the police’s approach to indecent exposure and other non-contact sexual offences, and in the quality of police investigations into such crimes. Policing must take this opportunity for change if victims of sexual crimes are to feel they can report incidents to the police safe in the knowledge their allegations will be properly and seriously investigated.  

"A public health approach that tackles the root causes as well as the impacts is crucial for tackling the scourge of violence against women and girls. We must recognise that it takes whole system change to tackle it, and PCCs’ role in bringing partners together to challenge this issue is critical. 

"Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) are the public’s voice in policing, and advocate on behalf of victims. We will continue to ensure our local forces have in place strategies to prioritise the tackling of Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG), and that women’s voices are heard when we are commissioning services to support victims in dealing with trauma.   

"PCCs have been central in working with partners to bring about that change, including new protections for victims of sexual violence and we are committed to ensuring that systems exist to root out those who have no place in policing.  

"PCCs are holding Chief Constables to account for leading real cultural change in policing, and helping repair the damage done by this and other heinous cases involving serving police officers."



  • Sophie Linden is London’s Deputy Mayor for Policing 
  • Caroline Henry is the Police and Crime Commissioner for Nottinghamshire 
  • The Angiolini Inquiry Part 1 Report can be found on the Angiolini Inquiry website 



Media Enquiries