MPS investigating officers and staff who accessed Sarah Everard case files

Dozens of officers and staff from the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) are being investigated for looking up details of the Sarah Everard case on the force computer system.

May 18, 2021
By Tony Thompson

The MPS’s internal Directorate of Professional Standards is understood to be contacting all employees who looked at the records to check why they viewed the files and whether they had legitimate reasons for doing so.

Marketing executive Ms Everard, 33, went missing as she walked home from a friend’s house in Clapham, South London, on March 3.

A major police investigation was launched and her body was found a week later in woodland in Kent. A serving police officer, Wayne Couzens, has been charged with her kidnap and murder. A provisional date of  October 25 has been listed for his trial.

An MPS spokesperson said: “Police officers and staff need to have access to computer records as part of their role. Officers and staff are only permitted to view specific records and data when there is a legitimate policing purpose for doing so.

“Accessing records without such a purpose can amount to a breach of professional standards or, in some cases, a criminal offence. Officers from the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards are in the process of contacting those officers and staff who accessed records relating to the investigation into the abduction and murder of Sarah Everard to ensure that each access was for a legitimate policing purpose. Once all the responses have been received, a decision will be taken as to whether any further action is required.”

The MPS would not say how many officers and staff were being contacted or why the action was being taken.

One officer linked to the investigation is already being examined by the Independent Office for Police Conduct after sharing a highly offensive graphic with colleagues.

The probationary constable was a cordon officer in Kent during searches, and has been placed in a non-public facing role while the matter is investigated.

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