A new documentary will air on BBC One this week, focusing on the story of Sarah Everard and the violence against women.

The documentary called Sarah Everard: The Search For Justice will look at the aftermath of the 33-year-old London marketing executive’s murder and “how this devastating crime unfolded”.

The programme's production team worked closely with Ms Everard’s parents who told the BBC that they hope "it will bring increased focus to issues of women’s safety, and abuse of power by police and others in positions of authority".

Discussing the upcoming documentary, Emma Loach, BBC lead commissioning editor for documentaries, said: “The murder of Sarah Everard sent shockwaves across the country and ignited an urgent conversation about police failings and violence against women and girls.

“This is an important and timely film and we, like Sarah’s family, hope it will contribute to the ongoing dialogue around the issues raised.”

Documentary on the murder of Sarah Everard to air this week on the BBC

Everard was kidnapped and murdered by former Metropolitan Police officer Wayne Couzens as she walked home through Clapham, south west London on March 3, 2021.

The actions of Couzens, who was later convicted of a series of earlier offences of indecent exposure, prompted a widespread outpouring of grief and demonstrations over concern for women’s safety.

A vigil for Ms Everard, held amid ongoing Covid restrictions in March 2021, led to arrests by the Metropolitan Police which subsequently made pay-outs to two women.

An outpouring of anger at Ms Everard’s murder by a serving police officer led to hundreds of people attending the event, including the Princess of Wales.

The Met was criticised for its heavy handling of the later stages of the vigil, with outrage that some women were bundled to the ground, and its “tone-deaf” reaction in the aftermath.

Wandsworth Times: A BBC documentary on Sarah Everard’s murder has been two-and-a-half years in the makingA BBC documentary on Sarah Everard’s murder has been two-and-a-half years in the making (Image: PA)

Part of the documentary will show the moment detectives were informed that the chief suspect was Wayne Couzens a serving police officer.

Detective Chief Inspector Katherine Goodwin made the revelation as she spoke on camera for the first time in the new BBC documentary.

In the documentary, Miss Goodwin revealed the police discovered Couzens was suspected of an indecent exposure offence days earlier in Kent before they found out he was a serving Metropolitan Police officer.

Miss Goodwin said they discovered this after Miss Everard and Couzens were spotted on CCTV footage next to a car, which led to his identification.

She said: “At that time, Wayne Couzens was a name that meant nothing to any of us. So immediately we start researching the name, also the phone number and the address that had been given when he’d hired the car.

Wandsworth Times: A documentary will tell the story of when police discovered Sarah Everard’s killer was a police officer A documentary will tell the story of when police discovered Sarah Everard’s killer was a police officer (Image: (BBC/Everard family and friend))

The detective added that when it was discovered he was suspected of indecent exposure, it “suddenly changed everything, because whilst I might have hoped that Sarah had got into the car with someone she knew, suddenly it was clear to me that she’d got into the car of an alleged sex offender”.

The officer sent a team to Couzens’ house in Kent to question him and, while officers were en route, a detective ran into Miss Goodwin’s office, shut the door, and told her “you need to hear this”.

A researcher on the phone then revealed that Couzens was a serving Met officer.


Miss Goodwin said: “I knew that I had to tell my boss and I can just remember the shock of having to just sit on the floor of the office and say to her, ‘You’re not going to believe this, that he’s a police officer’.

“And then the same questions went through her head as went through my head, ‘Are you sure?’.”

It is understood the documentary will not feature pictures of Couzens next to Everard in the film, in line with the family’s wishes.

Sarah Everard: The Search For Justice has been two and a half years in the making and will air on Tuesday evening on BBC One, days after the third anniversary of her death.