Met Police suggest giving officers warrant cards that women and girls can scan with a smartphone to confirm their identity
- Proposal contained in an ‘action plan’ to tackle violence against women and girls
- Anti-violence activists said it’s ‘unrealistic’ to expect women to challenge police
- Wayne Couzens notoriously used his warrant card to kidnap Sarah Everard
The Met Police has suggested giving officers warrant cards that women and girls can scan with a smartphone to confirm their identity.
The proposal, contained in an ‘action plan’ to tackle violence against women and girls, is part of a package of measures the force hopes will rebuild confidence after a series of scandals.
But it was criticised today by women’s rights campaigners, who said it was ‘unrealistic’ to expect women to challenge officers when they are concerned about their authenticity.
The proposal was part of an ‘action plan’ to tackle violence against women and girls released today by the Met. Pictured: Commissioner Cressida Dick
Andrea Simon, Director of the End Violence Against Women Coalition, told MailOnline: ‘There is a significant power imbalance to these interactions and the responsibility is squarely with leaders in the police to ensure their own vetting systems and procedures root out officers who are abusing their powers for sexual gain – the biggest form of police corruption currently investigated by the police complaints body.
‘Ending violence against women and girls needs a whole society response and we need work to prevent harm from happening in the first place.’
Wayne Couzens notoriously used his warrant card to kidnap marketing executive Sarah Everard before raping and murdering her.
As he was a serving officer, his card would have come up as genuine on a check by a member of the public, but the Met hope the measure could root out criminals using fake or decommissioned ones.
Wayne Couzens notoriously used his warrant card to kidnap marketing executive Sarah Everard before raping and murdering her
Last month, a watchdog report revealed an astonishing 2,000 Met warrant cards had gone missing.
Today, the Met said it was working to roll out new warrant cards to all officers, although they are not currently scannable.
The action plan said officers have arrested more than 1,890 suspected domestic abusers since November 2020, increased patrols around popular night spots and had been working to speed up rape prosecutions.
The force is continuing to review all allegations of sexual misconduct and domestic abuse against its officers and carrying out a ‘thorough review’ of its vetting procedures, the report added.
Assistant Commissioner Louisa Rolfe, said: ‘A wholesale independent review of culture and standards in the Met is under way but we have not waited for this to begin.
‘We are investing in our professional standards and will make sure we are as robust as we can be in rooting out officers who should not be serving.
‘With this feedback we are confident we have made our plan even better. Women and girls have the right to feel safe, at any time, day or night, in public or at home.’
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