Met Police to launch new initiative for officers to verify identity following Sarah Everard murder
Scotland Yard Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick said: ‘My plain clothes officers will call into a control room, they will then have a video call with a sergeant in uniform.’
The Metropolitan Police is to launch a new initiative to allow officers to verify their identity when approaching lone women, Cressida Dick has confirmed.
Speaking at City Hall on Wednesday, the Met commissioner told the police and crime committee she would be launching the “safe connection” initiative shortly which will allow plain clothes officers to verify themselves via a video call with a uniformed sergeant.
It comes amid concerns about the safety of women and girls who are approached by officers that may not be in uniform following the sentencing of Met officer Wayne Couzens last month for the kidnap and murder of Sarah Everard.
She said: “What I can say today is that we are launching our safe connection which allows a woman who is stopped by a police officer immediately to have verification that this is a police officer.
“My plain clothes officers will call into a control room, they will then have a video call with a sergeant in uniform who will say ‘yes, that is so and so, he is PC X,Y or Z’.”
The commissioner went on to say it would be a “quick, easy” way for an officer to reassure women and that it would be “instigated by the officer, not by a woman having to do this”.
“And yes, we have reviewed it. And we would address the question differently in the future.”
She went on to say “the problem here is men’s violence against women” and “the problem is not for the women”.
More details about the safe connection initiative will be released in due course.
Since then numerous women have been killed in London, with the death of Sabina Nessa in Kidbrooke, Greenwich, creating real fear.