Sarah Everard: 8 West Midlands Police officers convicted of sex offences in last 5 years

Since 2016 eight West Midlands Police officers have been convicted of sex offences - force unable to release information about whether any current investigations are underway

Eight West Midlands Police officers have been convicted of sexual offences in the last six years.

None of these officers are currently working for the force - with one facing a jail sentence after pleading guilty last month.

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West Midlands is unable to publicly identify if any other investigations into sex offence allegations against serving police officers are active, and said it can only provide this information if a Freedom of Information request is submitted.

Wayne Couzens

Why are these cases against West Midlands Police being highlighted?

BirminghamWorld is shining a light on these cases as trust in the police is being analysed across the country following the conviction of Wayne Couzens, a serving Metropolitan Police officer, for the murder of Sarah Everard.

The force told BirminghamWorld: “...the voice of women and girls has not been reflected as it should be” in its policing plans - following a survey conducted into views on women’s safety.

The statement said: “We have always taken violence against women and girls seriously. However, we accept that the voice of women and girls has not been reflected as it should be in our policing priorities and plans.

“We’ve recently conducted a survey to ask you for your thoughts and this will be reflected in our plans.

“While policing cannot provide all the solutions to end this violence, we have a major role to play in making women and girls feel safe and confident to report, as well as preventing harm and bringing perpetrators to justice.”

Sarah Everard was kidnapped raped and murdered by serving Met office Wayne Couzens in London. Photo: PA Wire

Are there any more details about the eight West Midlands Police officers convicted of sex offences?

Seven of the eight sex offence convictions against West Midlands Police were identified in a Freedom of Information response from 2019    

The document dated 4 September 2019 states: “Over the past three years, 7 officers have been convicted of sexual offences. In these cases, the officer either retired/resigned prior to the investigation (as outlined in the Police Regulations), or was dismissed from the force either before or following on from their conviction.

The eighth case refers to PC James Ankrett who is facing jail after admitting to having sex with a vulnerable domestic abuse victim he was supposed to be looking after.

The 40 year-old admitted misconduct in a public office and improper exercise of police powers at Wolverhampton Crown Court last month.

He today pleaded guilty to ‘pursuing personal contact with the woman in order to form a personal and sexual relationship facilitated by the use of police resources and during designated tours of duty when he knew or ought to have known it was improper’.

He is due to be sentenced in October.

Is anything else being done to improve the safety of women in the West Midlands following the Sarah Everard case?

Police forces across the Midlands and Sandwell Metropolitan Borough have been awarded £2,495,467 from the latest round of the Safer Streets Fund worth £25.5 million across England and Wales.

The government announced the award as the Tory Party conference got underway in Manchester on Sunday.

Here is the breakdown of which areas get what in the Midlands

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough - £119,057

Staffordshire PCC - £550,000

Warwickshire PCC - £249,000

West Mercia - £1,027,895

West Midlands - £549,515

Shabana Mahmood, Labour MP for Birmingham Ladywood

Is this enough to improve the safety of women and girls in Birmingham?

BirminghamWorld spoke to Shabana Mahmood, the Labour MP for Birmingham, Ladywood, to ask if she thought enough was being done to keep women and girls as safe as possible in the city. She said: “Labour has called for a full independent inquiry into the systemic failures leading up to Sarah Everard’s murder for days, yet the Prime Minister refused to support one.

“We will look into the detail of what is being proposed by the Home Secretary carefully, but taking action on the issue of violence against women and girls cannot be delayed for months or even years, pending the outcome of the inquiry.

“We are calling on the Home Secretary to bring forward legislation that should toughen laws on street harassment, increase sentences for rape and stalking, fast-track rape and serious sexual violence cases through the courts, and enshrine the rights of victims in a Victims’ Law. It is clear that urgent action is needed and the Government has the power to do something about it.”

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