Wayne Couzens should be stripped of police pension, London mayor says

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Sarah Everard’s murderer Wayne Couzens must be stripped of his police pension, London’s mayor Sadiq Khan has warned.

Couzens, now 50, is serving a whole-life sentence after exploiting his role as a Metropolitan Police officer to abduct the 33-year-old marketing executive as she walked home in south London in March 2021. He then drove his victim to an area of woodland in Kent, where he raped and killed her.

A police officer may be stripped of their pension if convicted of a crime that is linked to their police role, and that the home secretary of the day judges is “liable to lead to serious loss of confidence in the public services”.

While the London mayor secured a “certificate of forfeiture” in relation to the case from home secretary Suella Braverman last autumn, it is understood that Couzens was not actually eligible for a Metropolitan Police pension, having only joined the force in 2018.

But Mr Khan has now warned that Couzens may be eligible to draw a sizeable pension earned during his seven years as a firearms officer with the Civil Nuclear Constabulary (CNC), which guards the UK’s nuclear sites.

Mr Khan has written to energy security minister Grant Shapps, who oversees the agency responsible for CNC pension arrangements, to “seek assurances that you will take all possible steps to ensure that Couzens is stripped of his pension”.

“This is what the public would rightly expect,” Mr Khan said in the letter, a copy of which was seen by The Independent. His letter has the backing of Chief Constable Simon Chesterman of the CNC.

Mr Shapps has agreed that Couzens should receive none of his pension after his “horrendous crime shocked the nation”, and said he would seek an urgent update on the situation from the pensions administrator, according to the BBC.

Wayne Couzens is serving a whole-life sentence


Couzens is eligible to receive around £4,000 a year when he turns 60, as well as a lump sum of up to £12,000 – but could opt to start drawing his pension at a reduced rate in just five years’ time, The Sunday Times reported.

The mayor has also asked Mr Shapps to conduct a review of CNC pension arrangements “so that it aligns the CNC position more closely with that of ‘Home Office’ forces and the provisions for pension forfeiture”.

A spokesperson for the London mayor said: “It will be totally unacceptable if Couzens remains entitled to a single penny of his pension – it would be very difficult for his victims and the wider public to comprehend. The rules need to be tightened to ensure anyone who commits such abhorrent crimes can have their publicly funded pension removed swiftly and in full.”


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