N. Yorkshire police chief resigns after saying women must be ‘streetwise’ following Sarah Everard murder

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North Yorkshire’s police boss has resigned after a panel recommended he step down over his recent comments that women should be “streetwise” about whether they’re in a situation that genuinely warrants arrest or not.

In an open letter on Thursday, North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Philip Allott apologised for his comments and said he would be stepping down from his position. 

His resignation came just hours after the Police and Crime Panel, which he reports to, urged him to do so; all 11 members of the panel backed a no-confidence motion in the police chief. 

“I need to be clear. I apologise unreservedly for my remarks. They do not reflect my views. I misspoke and I am devastated at the effect that this has had on victims of crime and the groups that support them,” Allott wrote in his letter, referencing the controversial remarks which he had made on BBC Radio York.

He added that he was pleased that so many victim groups who had been offended by his comments accepted his apology.

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Two weeks ago, Allott told BBC Radio York that women should know “when they can be arrested and when they can’t be arrested” during a conversation concerning the false arrest, abduction, rape, and murder of Sarah Everard in London by then-serving Met Police officer Wayne Couzens.

“A police officer can’t just arrest you. There has to be a reason,” Allott noted, adding that women should be “streetwise.”His remarks triggered some 800 complaints to the broadcaster and 121 complaints to the policing panel.

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Allott originally refused to step down from his post, which he had only taken on five months previous, but accepted it was a “car crash of an answer.”

London firearms officer Couzens was sentenced to a whole-life term in prison on September 30 for the murder of Everard in March.

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