North Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Allott admits he has "much to learn" after Sarah Everard comments

The police boss whose comments on the false arrest of murdered York woman Sarah Everard have sparked anger across the country has admitted he has “a lot to learn,” but has not bowed down to calls for his resignation.

Monday, 4th October 2021, 4:10 pm

Philip Allott, the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for York and North Yorkshire, said in an interview on Friday that Ms Everard, 33, should not have submitted to her false arrest by serving Met police officer Wayne Couzens.

Couzens used his warrant card to falsely arrest Ms Everard. He then kidnapped, raped and murdered her.

Mr Allott also said women should be “streetwise” and learn their rights around arrests in the wake of Couzens’ crimes, which earlier this week saw him sentenced to life in prison.

Philip Allott

His comments were criticised by the Conservative chair Oliver Dowden as “stupid,” and he has faced calls to resign from Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and the Bishop of Ripon, Helen Ann Hartley.

An online petition calling for his resignation has seen more than 5,000 signatures.

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In a statement, he said: “I would like to reiterate my heartfelt apology for my comments on BBC Radio York on Friday 1 October, which I realise were both misconceived and insensitive and have caused upset and distress. I have withdrawn the remarks.

“Clearly, I have much to learn, so as well as committing to working ever more closely with subject-matter expert colleagues in my own organisation and beyond, I will be seeking meetings as soon as possible with local partner organisations across North Yorkshire and the City of York that provide services to tackle male violence against women and girls, in order to deliver on their concerns and broaden my understanding of the issues.

“I hope that all those reading this statement will accept my apology and the commitment I have given to my own learning – and to driving forward positive progress in keeping our communities safe.”