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Sarah Everard: The Search For Justice
Photograph: BBC

‘Sarah Everard: The Search for Justice‘ – everything you need to know

The BBC programme looks at the Met’s investigation of murderer Wayne Couzens

Phil de Semlyen
Written by
Phil de Semlyen

The murder of Sarah Everard by an off-duty police officer in March, 2021, shook London – and Londoners – to the core.

The shockwaves from the 33-year-old’s brutal death at the hands of Wayne Couzens, a serving police officer, still reverberate, with public trust in the Metropolitan Police plummeting since the crime and the subsequent handling of the Clapham Common vigil in Everard’s memory. Recent polling shows that only four percent of young women in London have a high level of trust in the Met.  

A new documentary, ‘Sarah Everard: The Search For Justice’, will air on BBC One at 9pm on Wednesday, March 6 and promises to shine new light on the crime and its bitter fallout.

The  60-minute programme will look into the 33-year-old London marketing executive’s murder and expose ‘how this devastating crime unfolded’.

The production team has had Sarah Everard’s parents to call on in its research. They’ve expressed their hope that the doc will ‘contribute to the ongoing dialogue’ around violence against women’ and the policing of these kinds of cases.

‘They hope that it will bring increased focus to issues of women’s safety, and abuse of power by police and others in positions of authority,’ says the BBC.

‘The murder of Sarah Everard sent shockwaves across the country and ignited an urgent conversation about police failings and violence against women and girls,’ says Emma Loach, BBC lead commissioning editor for documentaries. 

Also lending their voices to this bleak but critical London story will be the senior investigating officer on the case, the prosecuting barrister and Everard’s local MP.

What the reviews are saying

Early reviews are mostly positive on the scope and tone of the programme, with some reservations. ‘This clear-headed and thorough film avoids the usual true crime tropes and is all the better for it,’ writes The Independent. The FT notes that ‘[it] ends up rushing through the central question of how and why this was allowed to happen.’ The Evening Standard praises it for placing the crime in a wider context of lockdown, civil liberties and trust in policing. ‘What the documentary makers do particularly well is set up and knock down the idea that the crime was perpetrated under “unique” circumstances,’ notes its review.

‘Sarah Everard: The Search For Justice’ airs on BBC One and streams on iPlayer at 9pm, March 5.

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