Wednesday, 05 May, 2021


Sarah Everard: Murder suspect Met police officer kept in custody

Vigil For Murdered Sarah Everard On Clapham Common London Police at Clapham Common last night
Bennie Garza | 15 March, 2021, 01:15

Thousands of people have gathered at a vigil to pay respects to Sarah Everard.

Sarah Everard's disappearance as she walked home on the evening of March 3 had led to a wave of accounts from women about the dangers of walking streets alone at night, and dismay at the failure of police and wider society to tackle this.

Officers scuffled with some members of the hundreds-strong crowd that gathered despite coronavirus restrictions for a candlelit tribute close to the spot where 33-year-old marketing executive Sarah Everard disappeared on 3 March.

In a tweet, Plaid Cymru's leader Adam Price said: "Lighting a candle in memory of all the women killed by male violence and in condemnation of the actions of the Police in Clapham tonight".

Priti Patel, the U.K.'s home secretary, said she has asked the Metropolitan Police for a "full report on what happened", and some have called on police Commissioner Cressida Dick to resign, according to an ITV News reporter in London.

As scenes of tussles from the vigil circulated online, politicians from across the political spectrum criticized the Metropolitan Police's handling of the situation.

"The police have a responsibility to enforce COVID laws but from images I've seen it's clear the response was at times neither appropriate nor proportionate".

It came as Mr Khan said he would be asking HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and the Independent Office for Police Conduct to look into the events.

London police have stormed in to disperse crowds at a memorial for murder victim Sarah Everard after warnings that vigils and protests about violence against women would breach COVID-19 restrictions.

Caroline Nokes, the conservative chair of the women and equalities committee, said she was "truly shocked at the scenes from Clapham Common -- in this country we police by consent, not by trampling the tributes and dragging women".

The Metropolitan Police said four arrests were made at the vigil to "protect people's safety". "Hundreds of people were packed tightly together, posing a very real risk of easily transmitting Covid-19", she said in a statement.

Rangers Fans Celebrate Winning Title
Rangers fans gather in George Square to celebrate the club winning the Scottish Premiership

The police, crime, sentencing and courts bill was also a focal point, which people chanted their opposition.

The force added that a review will be carried out to see if "lessons can be learned".

Another protester is seen with a police officer during Saturday's the memorial, held to express outrage over the killing of Sarah Everard.

Figures from across the political divide united in criticism, with Tory MPs among those who condemned the Met's approach as "appalling".

On Sunday night, the Prime Minister said the death of Miss Everard must "unite us in determination" to drive out violence against women and girls.

They were socially-distanced and were wearing face masks and no enforcement action was taken, a spokesman for West Midlands Police said.

"It's 20 years since I worked in a women's refuge, and we have not moved forward in any way that we should to address this issue".

Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Helen Ball defended the officers' actions.

Met police's assistant commissioner in a statement said officers were "faced with a very hard decision", during the vigil. The force said Couzens joined its ranks in 2018 and most recently served in the parliamentary and diplomatic protection command, an armed unit responsible for guarding embassies in the capital and Parliament.

On Friday, it was revealed that human remains located in a woodland in Ashford, Kent, on Wednesday, March 10, had been identified as those of Ms Everard. A post-mortem examination has taken place but no cause of death was given in court.

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