POLICING minister Kit Malthouse said the police will have to work hard to rebuild public confidence following the murder of Sarah Everard by serving Met officer Wayne Couzens.

Mr Malthouse told Sky News: "They recognise that his has struck a devastating blow to the confidence that people have in police officers but also in the Met Police in particular.

"For those thousands and thousands of police officers out there who will have to work harder - much harder - to win public trust it is a very, very difficult time."

Mr Malthouse said there would be important lessons to learn from what happened.

"My job is effectively to help the Home Secretary hold the police to account about what went wrong, how this monster slipped through the net to become a police officer, how we can make sure it doesn't happen again," he said.

He rejected calls for Met Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick to resign, adding: "She is a dedicated and talented and committed police officer who is driving the Metropolitan Police to ever greater standards of care and improvement and fighting crime."

Helen King, former assistant chief constable at Merseyside Police, said it is important to ensure "good, morally and physically courageous people with high levels of integrity" want to join the police and see it as an attractive career.

She said "hundreds and thousands" of women have benefited from the "professional and sensitive support" of police officers in cases of domestic abuse and sexual offences.

She told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "I think we need to recognise that there isn't a magic simple answer to this. We all want it to stop, but there isn't just one action which is going to make that difference.

"And the police have a huge challenge, but all of us, and politicians and the media, have a role to play in making sure that when police actions are subject to dispute and challenge that they properly listen to the explanations, that they wait for reports and investigations, and look at those outcomes rather than, sometimes, what we see is knee-jerking responses on the back of one photograph or one interview.

"The police need to be accountable, they need to explain their decision making, and things like body-worn video, consultation meetings, ride-alongs, documentaries, open days - the police are getting much more accountable and transparent in what they do.

"And we, the public, need to listen and understand the difficult and on occasions impossible job we require them to do on behalf of us all."

Policing minister Kit Malthouse said an investigation is under way into why allegations against Wayne Couzens earlier in his career did not affect his employment by the Metropolitan Police.

Mr Malthouse told BBC Breakfast: "One of the lessons that we will need to learn is the allegations that were made against him - where those investigations led to, why they did not pop up on his vetting or have any impact in his employment with the Metropolitan Police.

"That is currently under investigation."

Mr Malthouse said the Met had been unaware of claims that Couzens had been known as "the rapist" by some colleagues.

"As I understand it, the Met say they didn't know about that," he said.

"That is something that will need to be investigated and understood as part of our learning lessons around this awful incident."

Jess Phillips, shadow minister for domestic violence and safeguarding, said trust in police is "not going to be built back overnight", telling BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "It is going to be built up if we see the Government and police forces starting to actually take violence against women and girls, and the complaints that women make day in, day out, seriously."

She added: "This is a conversation where women have been saying for some time, even before the death of Sarah Everard, that they don't feel that they are trusted by the police when they speak up or that violence and crime against them is prioritised."

Ms Phillips said she feels for the "really brilliant" police officers all across the country.

She said she wants to see violence against women and girls prioritised in every police force across the UK and in the Whitehall offices of the Home Office, adding that it should be given the same resources as other crime types such as terrorism and county lines gangs.

"I want finally to not have to keep asking that this should be a priority," she said, adding: "The seriousness of this crime should never be underestimated.

"Domestic abuse is like domestic terrorism. Rape and sexual violence cases, again and again, being turned away. I don't want to hear about pieces of paper and strategies written. I want to see action, where this actually changes."