Sarah Everard suspect Wayne Couzens exposed himself days before she went missing, police inaction being probed

The police watchdog will determine if Metropolitan Police officers had 'responded appropriately' to the alleged incident in a McDonald's that happened a few days before the 33-year-old went missing


                            Sarah Everard suspect Wayne Couzens exposed himself days before she went missing, police inaction being probed
Posters requesting information are seen near Clapham Common during an investigation into the disappearance of Sarah Everard in South London, March 9, 2021 (Getty Images)

Scotland Yard is facing a probe over its handling of an accusation of indecent exposure against the officer who is suspected to have killed Sarah Everard.

According to the BBC, the police watchdog will determine if Metropolitan Police officers had "responded appropriately" to the alleged incident. It has been claimed police failed to act and arrest Met Pc Wayne Couzens over indecent exposure at a McDonald's in south London on February 28, three days before Everard went missing. The 33-year-old was last seen in Clapham, south London, on March 3. Her case sparked an outpouring of frustration and anger as women came forward with their own experiences of feeling unsafe in the UK.

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Police are not allowing organizers of a "Reclaim These Streets" vigil to go ahead with their plans Saturday evening because of pandemic lockdown restrictions. They are now preparing to go to the High Court, per the British outlet.

Police search a house on Freemen's Way during an investigation into the disappearance of a woman, Sarah Everard, last week in South London, on March 10, 2021, in Deal, England. (Getty Images)

Everard's family paid tribute to her Thursday, remembering how she "brought so much joy to our lives" and was a "shining example to us all." Authorities are still looking for the missing marketing executive, but revealed how human remains had been found in woodland in Kent on Wednesday and are yet to confirm their identity.

An investigation was launched by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) after it received five referrals from the Met Police pertaining to its handling of the case. The watchdog has announced it will examine how officers responded to reports that Couzens had exposed himself at a fast-food restaurant in south London on February 28, just three days before Everard went missing.

Meanwhile, other referrals to the IOPC were over the arrest of a serving officer on suspicion of both kidnap and murder, the Met's response to Everard's missing person's report, as well as injury of the suspect cop while in custody, the BBC reported.

Police officers conduct a fingertip search of Poynders Road outside Poynders Court on the junction with Rodenhurst Road as they continue the search for Sarah Everard on March 9, 2021, in London, England. (Getty Images)

Couzens, 48, reportedly works with the Met's Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command. He was taken to hospital on Thursday after sustaining head injuries. He has since been discharged and returned to the police station, where he continues to be remanded in custody after the Wimbledon Magistrates' Court granted an application to extend his detention.

The diplomatic protection officer, who was arrested in Kent on Tuesday, had sustained the injury while alone in his cell and was given immediate first aid, the Met later revealed.

Police aren't sure whether Everard reached her home in Brixton after she was last seen on March 3, walking alone down a main road in Clapham at 9:30 pm local time. The former Durham University student was wearing a green rain jacket, navy blue trousers with a white diamond pattern, and turquoise and orange trainers when she went missing, according to the BBC.

Police search teams work their way through Mount Pond on Clapham Common as the hunt for missing woman Sarah Everard enters its fifth day, on March 09, 2021, in London, England. (Getty Images)

Family members have appealed in a statement for more information to "help solve this terrible crime." "Sarah was bright and beautiful - a wonderful daughter and sister. She was kind and thoughtful, caring and dependable. She always put others first and had the most amazing sense of humor," they said. "She was strong and principled and a shining example to us all. We are very proud of her and she brought so much joy to our lives."

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