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Weekly Reflections #12
27th Sept - 1st Oct
This week we heard details of the abduction, rape and murder of Sarah Everard by serving police officer Wayne Couzens.
In sentencing the judge noted that Couzens' choice of victim was random, but the attack was planned.
The police officer had "long planned to carry out a violent sexual assault on a yet-to-be-selected victim" who he intended to coerce into his custody.
Couzens’ “whole life sentence” may superficially seem like justice being done, but it leaves behind much bigger questions about what we could see as institutionalised or endemic attitudes to violence against women in our society.
As it appears now Couzens’ attitudes and behaviour had been noted by colleagues well before the day he committed the crimes of which he is now convicted of. Seemingly being given the nickname “The Rapist” by other members of the Police Force; having complaints about indecent exposure being ignored and attitudes towards women becoming locker room humour (and WhatsApp chat) for colleagues.
Couzens’ may have been guilty of the crime but there are others who are culpable and complicit.
In the media reports around the trial itself we read that Women have been killed by at least 15 serving or former police officers in the UK since 2009.
The majority of the women killed by former officers had been their partners, according to data from the Femicide Census first reported by the Times.
Other cases shown in the data, which tracks the killings of women by men in the UK, were a killing for financial gain and another where a former police officer smothered his mother.
The murder of Sarah Everard by the Met Polices Wayne Couzens’, must now be seen as a call for all of our services to be reviewed in terms of their attitudes to violence against women. Yes, I did say all of our services.... Fire, Police, Ambulance and Military.
Violence against women and young girls is a men’s issue!
Our service people are supposed to be the ones we can all place our trust. As such they need to be the model for the values we seek to promote as a society. Yet it is clear that femicide and abuse against women in these services is downplayed. If young men continue to see the men in these positions of trust only paying lip service to the issue of women’s rights, what do they learn?
If, as a man, you engage in banter and locker room humour about violence against women then you are part of the problem. You are contributing to the escalation of abuse because you are normalising these attitudes.
In other news.
Transport secretary Grant Shapps has admitted that Brexit has been “factor” behind the fuel crisis – despite his previous claims the UK’s exit from the EU had helped the country adjust to supply problems. - The Independent
The cabinet minister insisted last week that cynics were “wrong” to blame Brexit for the drastic shortage of lorry drivers causing petrol shortages and the closure of forecourts.
A change of heart there then.
Whilst, apparently not related to anger about petrol, a40-year-old man has died two days after he was assaulted on a garage forecourt, as police arrest a 15-year-old boy over the incident.
Thomas Mallaby, 40, was seriously injured at a service station in the village of Annfield Plain, near Stanley, Co Durham, in the early hours of Sunday.
Police said the death was 'not connected in any way' to the current nationwide problems over fuel deliveries. - Daily Mail
However, forecourt rage has been seen as a serious issue in the last few days. Another set of behaviours we are teaching our children
Jumping to Conclusions
Gina Millers attempt at a political swipe at Boris Johnson actually misses the mark and shows that she wasn’t aware of news about the PM.
Ms Miller tweeted: ‘In the midst of fuel shortages. People desperately worried about rising cost of living/eating/heating, empty shelves – anyone seen Boris Johnson?’
But Boris’s younger sister swiftly responded: ‘It was our mother’s funeral yesterday Gina.’
The drunk who kicked pregnant woman so hard she lost her baby cleared of child destruction.
The jury has been discharged in the case of Roger Bygrave, who was accused of kicking a pregnant woman in the stomach like he was "taking a rugby penalty" after downing 10 pints of cider
Roger Bygrave, 37, was cleared of child destruction unanimously by the jury after the woman sadly lost her daughter at 28 weeks following the incident. - Mirror
So, the drunken thug escapes taking responsibility for his actions. Ok, as mentioned last week he David he was “gutted”. I don’t know what’s more objectionable the phrase “child destruction” or “I was gutted”
Did you know...
British motorists driving outside the UK must now remove old-style GB stickers or cover them up. Instead they should display a UK sticker or have the UK identifier on their number plate.
The UK government guidance has been in place since Tuesday 28 September.
"It might only be a matter of replacing two letters, but this is a significant change for drivers who in normal times take their cars outside the UK," said RAC spokesman Rod Dennis.
The new rules state that any driver with a GB sticker on their car now needs to replace it with a new UK one if they are taking their vehicle abroad.
"Drivers also need to remember that number plates featuring the blue band and letters 'GB' next to the European golden stars are also no longer valid," Mr Dennis warned.
Penalties for not complying with the new rules are likely to vary.
Halfords warned that drivers who failed to display their UK badges could be refused entry to some countries.
And that’s it for this week