Susanna Reid has warned that the UK’s faith in police has wavered amid a series of controversies.
The Good Morning Britain host was reacting to the horror crash in Wales which claimed the lives of three young people, with two more being treated for serious injuries in hospital.
Eve Smith, 21, Darcy Ross, 21, Rafel Jeanne, 24, Sophie Russon, 20, and Shane Loughlin, 32, were all reported missing after a night out in Newport on Friday, with their loved ones desperately trying to trace them since they were last seen around 2am Saturday morning.
Smith, Ross and Jeanne were found dead at the scene more than two days after they were last seen, while Russon and Loughlin had remained trapped in the vehicle for up to 46 hours before they were discovered.
Police response to the disappearances have been criticised, with Russon’s mother Anna Certowicz claiming to the MailOnline that officers had said her daughter was ‘probably out partying’ and she had to go out searching for the group herself.
The shocking story comes after killer Metropolitan Police officer Wayne Couzens, who abducted and murdered Sarah Everard, was sentenced to 19 months in jail for exposing himself to women three times before attacking Sarah.
On Tuesday’s episode of Good Morning Britain, presenter Reid was ‘appalled’ by the story, and asked: ‘Why did it take 46 hours to find this car?
‘If two of those young people survived, what could have been done in the previous hours?’
The broadcaster added she meant ‘no disrespect’ to the amazing’ police officers who ‘do good work throughout the country ‘do brilliant work every day.’
‘But does it not feel like our faith in the police is at a – I wouldn’t say an all-time low, but at a low,’ she said.
Reid noted Couzens’ new conviction, paying tribute to the ‘poor victims of his indecent exposure’ and asking ‘why on earth wasn’t that taken seriously? Perhaps Sarah Everard might have survived.’
She asked also how the controversies and public backlash was affecting police recruitment, ‘while confidence in police is so low.’
Later in the show, she said ‘it feels like we are losing faith in the police, in their ability or inclination to go out and look for our children.’
Former Met Police Chief Superintendent Dal Babu, appearing on the show, noted that 20,000 police officers had been cut from the force over the years and they were still struggling to get back to old numbers, adding some officers were now inexperienced.
The hearing which led to Couzens’ new conviction revealed new details of his offending which raised further questions over whether police missed chances to stop him before he murdered 33-year-old marketing executive Sarah.
He is already serving a whole-life sentence for the rape and murdeer of Everard.
An independent inquiry has been opened into Couzens’ earlier sex crimes and whether police missed chances to stop him before he murdered Everard.
Reeling from daughter Russon’s disappearance and her serious injuries, Certowicz said it was ‘too awful to imagine what she went through trapped in the car in the dark until it got light and then dark again over two days.
‘Sophie was lying there for all that time, they could all have been found much quicker if the police had started searching straight away.’
‘I was ringing the police all through Saturday and Sunday but they didn’t seem bothered.’
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