This should be a national scandal that prompts everyone to look into the souls and ask why half the population is treated so disgracefully
The murder of Sarah Everard was every parent’s worst nightmare.
The fact this evil crime was committed by a serving police officer – the very person who is supposed to keep the streets safe – makes it all the more distressing.
While the Everard family can take some comfort from knowing Wayne Couzens will die in jail they will not properly receive justice until there is a fundamental reform of the police and criminal justice system.
These institutions have not just failed Sarah, they have failed thousands of women and girls.
Since her brutal killing a further 80 women have died at the hands of men.
Tens of thousands more have been victims of sexual assault, domestic abuse and harassment.
This should be a national scandal that prompts everyone to look into the souls and ask why half the population is treated so disgracefully.
Change must start with the police.
The words of regret from Met Commissioner Cressida Dick will count for nothing unless she completely overhauls the force’s cultural and procedures.
We need to know why the vetting process for Couzens failed and why the police turned a blind eye to two incidents of indecent exposure by him.
It is time to stamp out the misogynistic attitudes which sees male coppers close ranks and all too frequently dismiss the complaints of women.
But it is not just the police who are at fault. Violence against women and girls has reached epidemic levels but the number of prosecutions is pathetically low.
No wonder women have lost faith in the authorities. No wonder they do not feel safe.
They should not be afraid to walk home at night.
They should not have to worry they will be pestered, accosted or attacked because of their sex.
It should be a basic right.