Indecent exposure allegation that Sarah Everard murder suspect Wayne Couzens was also arrested over was reported to police four days before she vanished – as watchdog launches probe into officers’ response
- Wayne Couzens, 48, remains in police custody after arrest in Sarah Everard case
- Met Police received report of indecent exposure in south London on February 28
- Force made referral to IOPC over whether officers responded ‘appropriately’
An indecent exposure allegation that Sarah Everard murder suspect Wayne Couzens was also arrested over was reported to police four days before she vanished.
Couzens, 48, was arrested late on Tuesday on suspicion of the kidnap and murder of marketing executive Miss Everard, 33, and indecent exposure to a second unnamed victim.
The Metropolitan Police tonight confirmed an investigation has been launched into whether officers responded ‘appropriately’ to the report of indecent exposure, which was received by Scotland Yard four days before Sarah vanished.
Couzens is alleged to have exposed himself at a fast food restaurant in south London on February 28.
The force made a voluntary referral to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), who have determined the matter will be subject to an independent probe.
The Met arrested one of its own officers, Wayne Couzens, on suspicion of murder, pictured left and right with his wife Elena. CCTV from a bus that passed his alleged victim as she walked home
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick confirmed human remains have been found in the week-long search for 33-year-old marketing executive Sarah Everard
The Met also made a mandatory referral to the IOPC after Couzens was today rushed to hospital for treatment after he sustained a head injury while in a cell alone.
A statement added the suspect was being monitored by CCTV at the time, and had received immediate first aid after being found unconscious in Wandsworth Police Station.
It is understood he was taken to Accident and Emergency at St George’s Hospital in Tooting at around 8pm yesterday before being returned to custody.
Police have refused to comment on whether or not the injuries were self-inflicted, but Met sources said it is not expected any arrests will be made.
‘The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has started an independent investigation into whether Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) officers responded appropriately to a report of indecent exposure,’ the Metropolitan Police said.
‘The IOPC’s investigation follows a conduct referral from the MPS in relation to two officers, received last night, which is linked to four other referrals.
‘They are all connected to the arrest of a serving MPS officer on suspicion of kidnap, murder and a separate allegation of indecent exposure.
‘Our investigation will look at the actions of the MPS after police received a report on February 28 that a man had exposed himself at a fast food restaurant in South London.
MailOnline has pieced together Sarah’s final movements as it was claimed that Couzens was working at the US Embassy on the day she vanished
‘Yesterday we determined that two conduct referrals relating to kidnap/murder and indecent exposure allegations against the arrested officer should remain under local investigation by the force.
‘We are still assessing a mandatory referral in relation to the actions of police after they received a report that Sarah Everard was missing.
‘A fifth mandatory referral was received from the MPS today in relation to police contact with the arrested officer who was treated in hospital after sustaining a head injury while in custody yesterday afternoon.
‘That referral is also being assessed to determine what further action may be required from us.’
Couzens tonight remains in custody at a London police station after an application to extend his detention was granted at Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court.
A woman in her 30s, who was arrested at the same time on suspicion of assisting an offender, has been released on bail to return to a police station on a date in mid-April.