Wayne Couzens’ conviction has sparked shock waves across the country, particularly raising questions about the safety of women.
The rapist tore 33-year-old Sarah Everard off the street as she walked home from a friend’s house in Clapham Common, South West London, on March 3, while she was staging an “arrest”.
The court heard that he had managed to get her to get into his car on the pretext that she broke Covid-19 rules. Later that evening, he raped her and strangled her with his police belt.
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It has challenged the rights of men and women that they have when they are stopped by the police and what to do about it after the tragic event.
Here are your rights to when you are stopped by the police in case something happens to you.
What are your rights
If you are stopped by the police, it is important that you are aware of your rights and obligations in the event of a search.
Here are the most important rights you are protecting:
- the officers searching you must exercise control and search powers fairly, responsibly and with respect for people without discrimination
- If English is not your first language and you do not understand why you were stopped, reasonable steps must be taken to provide you with information in your mother tongue
- the officer must keep the search time to a minimum
- The search must be near where you were stopped, except in cases where you would protect your privacy
- the officer is not authorized to detain you for reasons of search
Police officers cannot stop you because of your race, gender, or previous criminal record. You must adhere to it if you are stopped by the police.
You can record a stop and a search, but you must not interfere with it. Many officers also have body cameras.
If you have a complaint, you should get the official’s contact details or find them online.
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