A POLICE chief has said Wayne Couzens has “insulted every officer that wears the uniform”, admitting trust and confidence in policing has been “knocked”.

Chief Superintendent Justin Burtenshaw, the new divisional commander for Brighton and Hove, described the ex-PC, who murdered Sarah Everard in March this year, as a “monster”.

Wayne Couzens, a former firearms officer with the Metropolitan Police force, is now serving a whole life sentence for the kidnap, rape, and murder of the 33-year-old marketing executive.

The Argus: Chief Superintendent Justin BurtenshawChief Superintendent Justin Burtenshaw

Mr Burtenshaw described his crimes as “horrendous” and said he would prioritise making women and girls feel safe enough to come forward to the police when a crime has been committed against them.

He said: “I’m hugely passionate about making people feel like they can come to us.

“It’s obvious that trust and confidence has been knocked, particularly over the last few weeks as the court case has revealed the horrendous details about the murder of Sarah Everard.

“From my perspective, he does not speak for the police. He was a monster.

“He has insulted every other office that wears the uniform, particularly the staff that I look after and it’s my job to make sure that people can see through that.

The Argus: Sarah Everard was killed in MarchSarah Everard was killed in March

“We want people to see that we are out there making a difference to the community and protecting people in the best way we can, which is by locking up the perpetrators of domestic abuse and anyone who is going to cause harm to someone else.”

Last week, government ministers and Scotland Yard were accused of having a tone-deaf response to violence against women and girls after publishing a list of suggestions over what action the public should take if they fear an officer is not acting legitimately.

Mr Burtenshaw said the narrative should not be focused on what women can do to keep themselves safe, but rather what can be done to stop men from committing violent crime against women and girls.

He said: “This is a predominantly male issue about men specifically targeting women, whether it be in the nighttime economy or through domestic abuse.

“Our job is to make sure we can protect the community and deal and tackle with the violence against women and girls.

“We need to give people, particularly women and girl, the trust and confidence to come forward when they see something they aren’t happy with.

“We work as a vast community of partners who have a passion about keeping people safe. But ultimately it is our job to be the enforcement arm.”

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