THE Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire says he 'wholeheartedly apologises' for comments he made in the wake of the Sarah Everard case in which he said women needed to be more 'streetwise' about the law.

Phillip Allott sparked a furious backlash online when speaking to BBC Radio York about the horrific rape and murder of York woman Sarah Everard by Met Police officer Wayne Couzens.

Read more: Sarah Everard: Police boss slammed for saying women "need to be streetwise"

Couzens, who was this week given a whole life term in prison, had falsely arrested 33-year-old Durham University graduate Sarah Everard in order to abduct her.

Commissioner Allott said Ms Everard 'never should have submitted' to the arrest and suggested women 'should learn a bit about the legal process'.

In a quick U-turn, Mr Allott issued a tweet retracting his comments this afternoon.

He said: "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."

The Northern Echo:

When speaking to the BBC about the case earlier in the day, Conservative Commissioner 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.

"Perhaps women need to consider in terms of the legal process, to just learn a bit about that legal process".

His comments were furiously condemned online by celebrities including Piers Morgan who branded him an 'idiot' who should be sacked.

The Northern Echo:

Hundreds of Piers's followers agreed, with one tweeting: "Just when you thought the Police couldn’t get any worse."

While another branded his comments: "Utterly appalling."

Hundreds of people continue to take to social media to call for Commissioner Allott's resignation, despite the apology tweet and retraction.

Many twitter users reacted directly to the apology, with one saying: "That is good, but I notice you are apologising for upsetting people and not because the thoughts you shared were completely wrong and are part of the problem.

"Presumably your thoughts haven't changed."

Here's a selection of Twitter responses to Commissioner Allott's comments and apology.

The Northern Echo:

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