Naga Munchetty shuts down MP as he dodges Sarah Everard murder question on BBC

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BBC Breakfast anchor Naga Munchetty was not holding back as she questioned Kit Malthouse, Minister of State for Crime and Policing, following the sentencing of Wayne Couzens.

The discussion came less than 24 hours after the sentence of Met Police officer Couzens who will spend the rest of his life behind bars for the kidnap, rape and murder of Sarah Evered.

Naga, 46, and co-anchor Charlie Stayt, 59, asked the MP whether a woman should feel safe if approached by a member of the police force.

Speaking to Kit Malthouse, Naga said: "Can I start with the obvious question, I think that many women will be thinking about today.

"If a woman is walking on her own and is stopped by a police officer, in a marked, or unmarked car and told to stop, he's going to arrest her, he's going to put her in the car, should she get in the car?"

Kit responded: "Obviously, it depends on the circumstances, Naga. What I would say is that obviously, the police recognise this appalling crime, comitted by this dreadful monster has raised a question in mark in people's minds about exactly those circumstances, the fact he used the cover of being a police officer to perpurtrate this horrible crime, it's devastating really.

"It's worth remembering also that police officers are duty-bound, even if they're off duty and they see violence or crime being committed to intervene, so it very much depends on the circumstances but if people have doubts about the conduct of a plain clothed police officer and rarely are they deployed singulary, they may be off duty but rarely are they deployed singulary on duty.

"If they have doubts, they should ask the police officer to identify themselves, there's obviously reasonable lines of questioning they can take, they should if possible, if they really are in doubt, ask to speak to the control room, asking to use the police officers phone or radio and if they are really very concerned, they should ring 999 and make enquiries."

Unamused with Kit's response, Naga hit back: "Should a woman get into the car under the scenario I described?"

"If she has doubts about the police officers conduct then she should make enquiries along the lines I've outlined, that would be perfectly natural to do before complying," said Kit.

Naga added: "I just want it to be made very clear because you know there are now concerns amongst women, amongst men, amongst people in this country now, if they are appraoched by a police officer and asked to get into a car and are handcuffed or restrained," before sighing.

"Is it safe? You now say it's very unusual to see an officer on their own, so they should assume first all and really, ask questions straight away?" she exclaimed.

Naga read out saftey tips released by the Met that stated if appraoched, you should ask to hear the voice of an operator via the police radio, before admitting it "wouldn't be safe" as it meant the potential victim would have to be close to the car.

Kit appeared to dodge several questions asked to him by Naga before reitirating his point that the police are hoping to "rebuild the trust" of the nation, with the police showing they should be "open" with people.

If you have been affected by this story, contact Rape Crisis England & Wales for free confidential support and information on 08088029999 or their website or 08088010302 if you're calling from Scotland.

You can contact the Domestic and Sexual Abuse helpline on 0808 802 1414 if you are in Ireland.

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  • Naga Munchetty
  • BBC Breakfast
  • BBC
  • Sarah Everard
  • MET Police

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