NEVER has the spotlight shone more brightly on the issue of violence against women and the need for real change to make our streets safer.

It was tragic that Wayne Couzens, a Metropolitan Police officer, falsely arresting Sarah Everard as she walked home in south London before raping and murdering her, is the reason for it to become front and centre of public consciousness.

North Yorkshire police, fire and crime commissioner Philip Allott said Ms Everard “never should have submitted” to the arrest.

He later apologised but Tory chairman Oliver Dowden said today the Prime Minister “profoundly disagreed” with Mr Allott and his “stupid” comments.

These remarks were awful and disturbing. They show despite the desire for change in recent weeks and months, the fact that this is the first response of a person elected into a policing position of power shows, sadly, we still have a long way to go.

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 cas.

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.

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.