The chief constable of West Yorkshire Police has apologised to Peter Sutcliffe’s victims for “the language, tone and terminology used by senior officers at the time”.
“Such language and attitudes may have reflected wider societal attitudes of the day, but it was as wrong then as it is now,” said John Robins.
The force – as well as media publications and the attorney general – have been heavily criticised for their attitudes towards some of the Yorkshire Ripper’s victims, who were sex workers.
Sutcliffe, who died in hospital after reportedly turning down treatment for coronavirus, murdered 13 women across Yorkshire and the North West between 1975 and 1980.
Earlier on Friday, the son of victim Wilma McCann told Sky News that West Yorkshire Police should apologise for the language used to refer to his mother 45 years ago.
“What can come out of this is for West Yorkshire Police to finally do the right thing and give us a bit of closure we can have and deserve, and that is to apologise for the way they spoke about some of the victims, including my mum, who they said were less than innocent,” Richard McCann said.
“When Jayne MacDonald, the 16-year-old girl, was killed it was said by the police that [Sutcliffe has] killed an innocent victim now.
“My mum and all those other women were completely innocent and deserved to live.”