HAMPSHIRE’S Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) is keen to ensure every woman feels safe on Southampton streets following the murder of Sarah Everard.

Former police officer Wayne Couzens was handed a whole life sentence on Thursday, September 30 for the kidnap, rape and murder of Sarah Everard.

Speaking in the week after the sentencing, PCC Donna Jones said: "I am absolutely committed to making sure that women feel safe on the streets of Southampton. I want every woman to walk the streets in our town with no fear whatsoever.

"I think the Sarah Everard case is probably one of the most shocking and troubling cases we have heard in many years, and it has rocked policing to its core.

"We do need to remember what happened with Wayne Couzens is an unusual occurrence. There are thousands of police officers who join the force because they want to help people, especially vulnerable people.

"I do welcome Cressida Dick’s announcement about having a national review of police vetting standards following another officer being charged with rape. There are issues in the Met Police and they do need rooting out."


The Metropolitan Police recently issued guidance for people concerned about being approached by a lone police officer, which includes waving down a bus.

This advice has been branded "nonsensical" by the Hampshire PCC.

She said: "The advice is nonsensical and completely impractical. I think the bus drivers would wonder why you are flagging them down and asking about being arrested.

"If a police officer tries to arrest you and you go to speak to a bus driver, you’ll likely also be arrested for resisting arrest, which is also an offence."

Moving forward, commissioner Jones wants to ensure police officers have specialist training and signs of violence against women and girls can be spotted within the force.

She said: "Through my office we had confirmation yesterday that we have secured funding for my ‘More Police, Safer Streets’ Police and Crime Plan. I also want to introduce more cameras and street lighting and will be working with the universities, colleges and schools to explain to pupils that appropriate relationships do not include violence towards a woman or girl.

"There are still far too many incidents across Hampshire, especially in Southampton, involving sexual violence. These incidents are very worrying.

"Police alone can’t arrest their way out of violence against women, it needs to be a multi-agency response.

"This is really about me as PCC pulling together partner organisations to make sure we are ahead of the game and pre-empting violence in the home and against women."

For those looking to seek support for sexual and/or domestic abuse, there are many organisations in and around Southampton that can help.

Charity Yellow Door offers a range of prevention and support interventions to those affected by domestic abuse and related harmful practices.

Further afield, START in Winchester offers a confidential, specialist counselling and support service for anyone who has experienced sexual abuse and/or sexual assault.

Support can also be found here https://www.womensaid.org.uk/ on the website of charity Women's Aid, which is working against domestic abuse until women and children are safe.