Amy Hart uses Question Time debut to call for changes to policing

·2-min read
Amy Hart uses Question Time debut to call for changes to policing

Former Love Island contestant Amy Hart used her debut appearance on Question Time to call for changes to the police in light of Sarah Everard’s murder.

The influencer and presenter joined Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Secretary George Eustice, Shadow Child Poverty Secretary Wes Streeting, journalist Ella Whelan and Confederation of British Industry president Karen Bilimoria on Thursday evening’s episode of the current affairs show.

The panel discussed the issue of women’s safety just hours after Wayne Couzens, a serving Metropolitan Police officer, was given a whole-life sentence for the kidnap, rape and murder of the 33-year-old Ms Everard in March this year.

Hart agreed with an audience member who said it was important not to brand all police officers as bad.

She said: “You’re taught from a young age - if you lose your mum, look for a policeman, and I think 99 per cent of them are good.

“However, I think you need more psychological tests before you become a policeman.

“Going round in twos, so when you see two policemen, you know it’s legitimate,” she added.

However, other commentators have challenged the narrative that describes Couzens as just “one bad apple”.

Sisters Uncut, a feminist direct action group that campaigns for the improvement of domestic and sexual violence services, described the police as “rotten to the core”, adding that “their entire purpose is to coerce and control, and right now they are drunk on power.”

According to The Femicide Census, at least 15 women have been killed by police officers since 2009.

Research from the Centre for Women’s Justice found that one woman a week reports a serving police officer for domestic or sexual violence.

And in July, around 160 Metropolitan Police officers alone were found to have been accused of sexual misconduct in the past two years.

Twenty-nine-year-old Hart’s appearance comes as the Metropolitan Police has issued advice for women who fear a male police officer might not be genuine, suggesting they call 999 or “shout out to a passer-by, run into a house or wave a bus down” for help.

The extraordinary guidance was published as the force comes under mounting pressure to explain how it will prevent violence against women and regain their trust.

The Met has also pledged to publish a new strategy for tackling violence against women and girls, outlining how it will prioritise action against sexual and violent predatory offenders.

According to the force, 650 new police officers will also be deployed into busy public places, “including those where women and girls often lack confidence that they are safe”.

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