The Prime Minister has refused to commit to a public inquiry into the Met police’s failings on the Sarah Everard murder.
Johnson told BBC One’s The Andrew Marr Show the “first thing that needs to happen” was for the Independent Office of Police Complaints to look into what happened.
He dodged calls from women’s campaigners and former police chiefs to open an independent inquiry into the murder.
Scotland Yard is facing questions after one of its officers kidnapped, raped and murdered Sarah Everard when she was walking home.
The Prime Minister said: “But … I think that we do need to look systematically, not just at the Wayne Couzens case, but at the whole handling of rape, domestic violence, sexual violence, and female complaints about harassment altogether.
“We will stop at nothing to make sure that we get more rapists behind bars and we have more successful prosecutions for rape and for sexual violence. Because that, I think, is going wrong.”
WhatsApp messages investigation
Just two per cent of reported rapes result in prosecution while rape convictions are at an all-time low.
“The Met is, of course, looking into all the officers that have been associated with the sharing of these [WhatsApp] messages,” the Prime Minister added.
Couzens is believed to have been in a WhatsApp group with police officers who are being investigated for gross misconduct.
Five serving officers and one former officer are under investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) for allegedly distributing discriminatory messages between March and October 2019.
Former Met commissioner Ian Blair – who oversaw the force between 2005 and 2008 – has called for an inquiry to look into how Wayne Couzens had been hired by the force.
“The most important thing about the terrible murder of Sarah Everard is that it’s comparitor cases are ones like Dr Shipman and the Soham murders…something that is so simply shocking. How can this have happened?,” Lord Blair told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme.
Calls for police officers to be re-vetted
“The response of the Met needs to be the same response to those kind of crises, which is an independent inquiry to try and discover what are the processes that allowed this man, who is obviously a manipulative homicidal maniac, to become a police officer.”
The killer – who was handed a whole life sentence last week – was able to use his warrant card and handcuffs to kidnap the 33-year-old woman, despite an an incident of indecent exposure just days before the murder.
Former colleagues of the murderer reportedly gave Couzens a nickname of “the rapist”, at the Civil Nuclear Constabulary.
Ex-chief superintendent at the Met, Parm Sandhu said everybody who works in policing should be re-vetted, including “people who got through the vetting procedure 20 years ago, 30 years ago.”
“Every single person needs to be reviewed and if nothing comes up in their past — it doesn’t have to be a conviction, it just needs to come to notice, because this man did not come to notice,” she told Sky News.
Donna Jones, the head of policing for tackling violence against women and girls in England and Wales said she did not support calls for every officer to be vetted again.
“Re-vetting tens of thousands of people is not a sensible use of public money,” she told LBC.
“We need to make sure we have got the right processes in place so that when issues are reported the police forces are acting quickly.”