MPS commissioner issues statement as human remains found in Sarah Everard case
The Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), Dame Cressida Dick, said she was “utterly appalled” to learn one of her officers had been arrested on suspicion of murder after human remains were found during the search for Sarah Everard.
The serving officer, who is in his forties and a member of the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command, was arrested at a property in Kent late on Tuesday evening (March 9) and taken to custody at a London police station where he remains.
Initially arrested on suspicion of kidnap, he has since been further arrested on suspicion of murder and for a separate allegation of indecent exposure. He was not on duty at the time of Ms Everard’s disappearance.
A woman living at the same address was arrested at the same time on suspicion of assisting an offender. She has also been taken into custody at a London police station.
While many media outlets have named and published photographs of the officer, his identity has not yet been confirmed by the MPS.
Ms Everard vanished on her walk home to Brixton after leaving a friend’s flat in Leathwaite Road, Clapham Junction at about 9pm on March 3. She is believed to have walked through Clapham Common towards her home – a journey that should have taken about 50 minutes.
Assistant Commissioner Nick Ephgrave had earlier described the arrest as “a serious and significant development” in the case.
In a statement released to the media, Dame Cressida said: “I want to start by saying that my thoughts and prayers are with Sarah Everard’s family and her friends at this very difficult and painful time.
“As you are aware, a man has been arrested on suspicion of her murder. This evening detectives and search teams investigating Sarah’s disappearance have very sadly discovered what we believe at this stage to be human remains.
“The discovery was made in an area of woodland in Ashford, Kent. As you can imagine, at this early stage we are not able to confirm any identity and indeed this may take us some time.
“Specialist officers have been with Sarah’s family to update them on the investigation and to continue to support them as best we possibly can.
“The news today that it was a Metropolitan Police officer arrested on suspicion of Sarah’s murder has sent waves of shock and anger through the public and through the whole of the Met.
“I speak on behalf of all my colleagues in the Met when I say we are utterly appalled at this dreadful news. Our job is to patrol the streets and to protect people.
“The investigation is large, fast moving and very determined. We have hundreds of officers and staff who have been working around the clock.
“Sarah’s disappearance in these awful and wicked circumstances is every family’s worst nightmare.
“I know Londoners will want to know that it is thankfully incredibly rare for a woman to be abducted from our streets. But I completely understand that despite this, women in London and the wider public – particularly those in the area where Sarah went missing – will be worried and may well be feeling scared.
“You should expect to see continued high levels of police patrols in that area as well as very significant investigative activity. Please report any concerns you may have to us.
“We have been so impressed, and thankful for the public support for the investigation and for sharing our appeals for information and of course we are deeply grateful to the many people who have come forward to assist us.
“Again my thoughts are with Sarah, her family and her loved ones.”