JUST when you might be beginning to think that too much is being made of women losing confidence in the police because one very rogue officer committed an appalling crime, the Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire says women should walk the streets armed with an intimate knowledge of the law to prevent themselves from getting into a risky situation should they ever be confronted by an officer with murder on his mind.

Philip Allott said women should be more “streetwise”, and Sarah Everard should never have submitted to a policeman, with handcuffs, who wanted to arrest her for breaching Covid guidelines. She should have known, he said, that this was not an indictable offence.

The point is women shouldn’t have to be streetwise to survive. They shouldn’t have to wear sensible clothes, to stick to well lit areas, to only walk in pairs, to remove their headphones, to carry keys just in case… They should be able to go where they want when they want. Safely. Without carrying weapons and certainly without having swatted up on what offences are arrestable should they ever be stopped by an officer who wants to detain and then rape and murder them.

It is incredible.

Mr Allott has since apologised for his “insensitive” comments, but it is instructive that his first reaction was to effectively blame Sarah for submitting to her murderer. No wonder women are losing confidence in the police who appear unwilling to take violence against them seriously.

Mr Allott really must consider his position.