HAMPSHIRE police have pledged to ensure officers ‘explain and reassure’ following the sentencing of Sarah Everard’s killer.

Following a sentencing today (September 30) Wayne Couzens will die behind bars for kidnapping, raping and murdering Sarah Everard – as the Metropolitan Police face questions over why he was still on the force.

The ex-Pc, 48, was handed a whole life sentence at the Old Bailey by Lord Justice Fulford, who said his “warped, selfish and brutal” crimes had eroded confidence in the police.

The judge said the firearms officer had been planning for at least a month before abducting Ms Everard, 33, as she walked home from a friend’s house in Clapham, south London, on the evening of March 3.

Responding to resulting concerns surrounding confidence in police, Hampshire Constabulary told the Gazette that the force follows national guidance when it comes to verifying the identity of a police officer.

A spokesperson said: “Police officers always carry identification and can always be asked for verification. They are used to providing that reassurance.

“It would be extremely unusual for an officer in plain clothes to be working alone. If they are, they should be calling for assistance with other officers arriving very soon. This is standard practice.”

They continued: “In light of the actions of Wayne Couzens it is right that police officers expect and are tolerant of those who wish to be further reassured. They will want to explain and reassure who they are, what they are doing and why.”

Sending a message to Hampshire residents, the force added that its important that they always know how to call for help.

“If people still feel things are not quite right or you are in imminent danger you must seek assistance. If that means shouting out to another member of the public, flagging a car down or even dialing 999, then do that.”