THE police officer arrested on suspicion of murdering Sarah Everard was reported to cops over alleged indecent exposure just four days before her disappearance.
Wayne Couzens was dramatically arrested on Tuesday night on suspicion of kidnap and murder following the 33-year-old's disappearance.
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The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) tonight revealed Couzens was reported for allegedly indecently exposing himself in a takeaway in South London on February 28 – four days before Sarah went missing.
In a statement, the IOPC said: "The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has started an independent investigation into whether Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) officers responded appropriately to a report of indecent exposure.
"The IOPC’s investigation follows a conduct referral from the MPS in relation to two officers, received last night, which is linked to four other referrals.
"They are all connected to the arrest of a serving MPS officer on suspicion of kidnap, murder and a separate allegation of indecent exposure.
"Our investigation will look at the actions of the MPS after police received a report on 28 February that a man had exposed himself at a fast food restaurant in South London."
The latest dramatic developments comes after Couzens was rushed to hospital today when he was found collapsed in his cell.
He was found collapsed in his cell after suffering serious head wounds.
It comes as…
- Police were last night investigating whether Wayne Couzens used his warrant card to entice Sarah into a car
- Sarah's family said she would never have taken a lift from a stranger
- Human remains were found in woodland in Kent last night as part of the investigation
- Detectives have reportedly found no link between Sarah and Couzens
- Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was “shocked and deeply saddened" by the case
Couzens was bundled into a police car on Tuesday night – six days after Sarah vanished as she walked home in Clapham, South West London.
Tragically, Met Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick last night said human remains had been found in woods — but did not confirm they belonged to marketing executive Sarah.
The site where officers found the remains is 30 miles from the Deal home where Couzens was arrested.
Cops moved in on married dad-of-two PC Couzens after a car linked to him was allegedly spotted on a motorist’s dashcam near to where Sarah was last seen on the night of Wednesday, March 3.
And the Telegraph today reported CCTV footage from local buses could have led to the breakthrough in the case.
The marksman, whose role involves guarding politicians and protecting events attended by senior royals, is believed to have worked a shift in South London that day.
His Ukraine-born wife Elena, 38, who works as a laboratory manager, has also been arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender.
Police do not believe the officer had ever met Sarah previously.
A source said last night: “The working hypothesis is that he saw Sarah on the street for the first time and kidnapped her.
“At this stage it is thought the officer used his warrant card to entice Sarah towards his car.
“One theory is that he may have used the Covid lockdown as a pretext to engage with her and then snatched her.”
PC Couzens is attached to the Met’s Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection (PaDP) unit normally based at the Palace of Westminster.
Detectives probing Sarah’s suspected murder searched his locker yesterday.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was “shocked and deeply saddened by the developments in the Sarah Everard investigation”, adding “we must work fast to find all the answers to this horrifying crime”.
Home Secretary Priti Patel added: "I am deeply saddened by the developments in the Sarah Everard investigation. My heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with Sarah, her family and friends at this unbearable time.
"Many women have shared their stories and concerns online since Sarah’s disappearance last week. These are so powerful because each and every woman can relate.
"Every woman should feel safe to walk on our streets without fear of harassment or violence.
"At this deeply sad and tragic time as we think and pray for Sarah and her family, I will continue through my role to do all I can to protect women and girls from violence and harassment."
Sarah had been walking from a friend's house on Wednesday last week – heading back to her Brixton home.
However, she vanished that night – with police launching a desperate hunt for the 33-year-old.
Following the arrest of the police officer, the Metropolitan Police has made a referral to the Independent Office for Police Conduct.
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