Nicola Sturgeon has strongly criticised claims made by a police commissioner who said Sarah Everard should "never have submitted" to the false arrest which led to her death. 

The First Minister joined a chorus of voices condemning the remarks by North Yorkshire police, fire and crime commissioner Philip Allott, who said women "need to be streetwise" about when they can and cannot be arrested. 

Mr Allott's comments were made after Police came under fire for suggesting women should flag down a bus if they have concerns when stopped by an officer in the wake of Sarah Everard’s murder.

READ MORE: Wayne Couzens given whole life order for murder

Ms Sturgeon posted on social media, saying: "These comments are appalling. It’s not up to women to fix this. It’s not us who need to change.

"The problem is male violence, not women’s ‘failure’ to find ever more inventive ways to protect ourselves against it.

"For change to happen, this needs to be accepted by everyone." 

Firearms officer Couzens is serving a whole life sentence for the kidnap, rape and murder of marketing executive Ms Everard, meaning he will never be freed from jail.

It emerged at his trial that he coerced the 33-year-old into putting on handcuffs and getting into his car on the pretext that he was arresting her for breaching Covid regulations.  

Speaking to BBC Radio York on Friday, Mr Allott said: “So women, first of all, need to be streetwise about when they can be arrested and when they can’t be arrested.

“She should never have been arrested and submitted to that.”

Lucy Arnold, from campaign group Reclaim The Streets, branded his statement “horrifically offensive”.


Sarah Everard 

READ MORE: Wayne Couzens made ‘false arrest’ before murder, court told

Mr Allott has since issued an apology for his remarks.

He said on Twitter: “I would like to wholeheartedly apologise for my comments on BBC Radio York earlier today, which I realise have been insensitive and wish to retract them in full.”

In a now-deleted tweet, he also said: “Nobody is blaming the victim.

“What I am saying is that we need to inform women far better of their rights, something I intend to action here in North Yorkshire ASAP.”