Sarah Everard: Philip Allott 'won't resign' over interview comments

Image source, Everard family

Image caption,

Sarah Everard, originally from York, was killed by serving police officer Wayne Couzens after he falsely arrested her

A police boss who claimed women "need to be streetwise" about arrest powers after the Sarah Everard case has said he will not resign.

North Yorkshire commissioner Philip Allott was criticised after saying Ms Everard never should have "submitted" to arrest by killer Wayne Couzens.

Speaking to BBC Look North, he said he would continue to "carry through the mandate I was elected to do".

Mr Allott once again apologised for his earlier statements.

His comments will be discussed at a meeting of the North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Panel on 14 October after his office received more than 800 complaints.

Mr Allott, who was elected as North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner in May, said: "I'm deeply sorry for the comments I made - they are not the kind of language that I would normally use, and I am so deeply sorry.

"It's men, it's ultimately men, who hurt and kill women and I'm just so horrified at how my comments have been seen."

Video caption,

Philip Allot was criticised after saying Sarah Everard should never have “submitted” to arrest

During the sentencing of Couzens at the Old Bailey on 30 September, it emerged he tricked Ms Everard by falsely arresting her for a breach of Covid-19 guidelines.

The following day, the Conservative commissioner told BBC Radio York he believed "women, first of all, need to be streetwise about when they can be arrested and when they can't be arrested".

He added that Ms Everard "should never have been arrested and submitted to that".

When asked if he would resign, Mr Allott replied: "No I will not because it's more important that I carry through the mandate I was elected to do and I have to say I have thought about it, I've gone back and I've reflected on my position."

Video caption,

Mr Allott, who was elected in May, originally spoke to BBC Radio York

More than 9,000 people have signed an online petition calling for the commissioner to step down over what he said and his comments have also been condemned by the prime minister.

Speaking on Saturday, Boris Johnson said what Mr Allott had said "was completely wrong and wrong-headed" and it was "entirely right that he has apologised and retracted".

In response to a question about the number of people calling for him to go, he replied: "We have to see it in context, 83,000 people voted for me in North Yorkshire and York - that's more than any Member of Parliament."

Earlier on Friday, a small protest, organised by the Women's Equality Party York, took place near York train station calling for Mr Allott to resign.

"For someone in his position to have such outdated, victim blaming views is not acceptable," said Sally Duffin from the political group.

"The fire brigade have come out and condemned his comments, the public feeling is very much against him so I don't think his position is tenable, he needs to do the respectable thing and resign."

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