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Sarah Murray with Shropshire MP, Helen Morgan

Sarah Murray, the Liberal Democrat candidate for the West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner has called out West Mercia Police following a report that a woman who reported her police officer ex, was instead arrested herself.

The woman called 999 to report her ex-partner for abuse but ended upbeing arrested and spending 18 hours in a police cell. The woman is convinced her ex-partner used his role as an officer to get her arrested and out of their house.

Councillor Murray, a staunch advocate for ending male violence against women and girls, said, “This is an outrageous abuse of power and is the exact problem that led to convicted murderer, Wayne Couzens, being able to take advantage of his police officer status to gain power over Sarah Everard. The similarities are alarming and all police forces should have learnt from this catastrophic mistake.’

‘Confidence in the police needs to be restored and this report only further damages the fragile public trust in our police force. A culture of misogyny evidently exists with abusers making it a safe career choice.’

‘I am astounded at the lack of investigation into the allegations made against this particular officer. If I am elected as the Police and Crime Commissioner I will be working with the Chief Constable in acknowledgement of the Angioloni report released on 29 February, to improve standards of recruitment, vetting and investigation, so that no police officer will be able to hide behind his uniform or badge.’

‘Further we need to uphold the exemplary behaviour of those police officers who are doing the right thing and are tarred with the same sticky brush that Couzens swept over the police force.’

Murray’s comments follows an investigative report by Nicola Goodwin at BBC Midlands into four complaints of abuse and coercive control, including one from a female police officer, made to West Mercia Police about an individual male officer.

West Mercia Police deemed his service to be acceptable and no disciplinary hearing was required. PCC John Campion said he understood some victims of domestic abuse do not feel comfortable reporting their experiences to the police.

Sarah told us ‘This just isn’t good enough. Female victims of male violence have a difficult time because of the lack of understanding shown to them. I am fed up with hearing this ‘there, there, there’ approach to female victims. I want to see action taken against men who abuse positions of power.’

‘West Mercia needs a Police and Crime Commissioner who understands the needs of victims. Whilst a culture exists in which the police, the public or anybody turns a blind eye to violence against women, we will never put a stop to it. We need to call it in and call it out.’

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