North Yorkshire firefighters are “outraged” by comments from the county’s police, fire and crime commissioner on the murder of Sarah Everard.
North Yorkshire’s commissioner Philip Allott sparked fury when he said Ms Everard “never should have submitted” to arrest by her killer, PC Wayne Couzens.
Mr Allott has since apologised and said he wanted to retract the comments.
Ms Everard was raped and murdered by Met Police officer Couzens in March and, at his sentencing on Thursday, it emerged he tricked her by falsely arresting her in order to abduct her.
Conservative Mr Allott told the BBC on Friday that Ms Everard should never have “submitted to that [arrest]”.
“Women, first of all, need to be streetwise about when they can be arrested and when they can’t be arrested,” he said.
“She should never have been arrested and submitted to that.”
In the wake of comments North Yorkshire Fire Brigades Union Brigade Secretary Steve Howley said he had received an “unprecedented amount of correspondence from FBU members” on the issue.
He added: “The common theme is outrage.
“In a situation where the focus should be on the tragic rape and murder of Sarah Everard and love for her family and friendship, his comments have shifted focus to his own outrageous and perspective-less comments.
“All public sector leaders that deal in trust should be reflecting on the lessons that can be learned from this tragedy and looking at how this can be avoided in the future, rather than blaming victims.
“This criticism and concern is not in regard to rank-and-file police officers but in relation to the comments made by the PFCC.
“Given the laws that surround the election of PFCCs and MPs Mr Allott’s future is largely in his own hands. FBU members have made clear to us what his next steps should be.
“Our members universally condemn Mr Allott’s comments and perspectives on this tragedy, and I can assure the public it is not reflective of the views of North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service and the membership of North Yorkshire Fire Brigades Union.”
The comments from the PCC were yesterday criticised by the Prime Minister.
Boris Johnson said his remarks were “completely wrong” and “totally the opposite” of what was needed.
Local politicians have also condemned the comments.
Richmond (Yorks) Labour Party said in a statement: “Only recently elected, it has not taken long for Mr Allot to show his true feelings when it comes to the job of making our streets safer for women and girls who are far too often on the receiving end of violence.
“At a time when trust in the police is at an all time low, and the service finds itself stretched due to lack of funding from Conservative government and Conservative Crime commissioners, we find the comments made to be insensitive, unprofessional and profoundly worrying.
“It is impossible to believe that the people of North Yorkshire can feel safe on our streets when this is the attitude of the man in charge of the force, and we feel that nothing less than a resignation will suffice to stop the rot after 10 years of Conservative failure.”