Public split over whether police should have allowed Sarah Everard vigil to take place

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Public split over whether police should have allowed Sarah Everard vigil to take place.

IN a snap poll carried out by YouGov on Sunday morning, March 14, shows Britons are split over whether the Met Police should have allowed Saturday’s vigil to go ahead, with 40 per cent saying they should have and 43 per cent saying they should not.

The force made national news by dispersing a vigil to murdered Sarah Everard in Clapham Common.

Police are under fire for what is seen as a heavy-handed response to a peaceful gathering, with several arrests being made.

And as with the wider public, women are divided on the vigil, with 42 per cent saying it should have been allowed to take place and 39 per cent saying it should not.

Men, however, say the vigil shouldn’t have been allowed by 47 per cent to 38 per cent.

The generations are much more at odds on the matter.

The older Britons are, the less likely they are to think the vigil should have been allowed. Half of 18-24 year olds (52 per cent) say police should have approved the vigil, with only 24 per cent disagreeing.

Among those aged 50 and over, however, 52-55 per cent say the police were right not to allow the vigil, with just 32-34 per cent thinking it should have gone ahead.

The police response to the gathering has prompted discussion about the broader right to protest during lockdown, but a majority of the British public tend to think it is generally right that protests, vigils and marches should not be allowed during the pandemic, according to the survey.

Six in 10 Britons (59 per cent) say that it is right that such gatherings do not take place during the current pandemic, compared to 26 per cent of Britons who disagree.

And the majority feel that Cressida Dick, the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, should not resign.

She has said she does not intend to resign over the incident, despite her boss – mayor of London Sadiq Khan – saying he was not satisfied with her explanation of police actions and calling for an investigation into the goings on.

And the British public tends to think Dick should remain in post. By two to one Britons say that she should not resign (47 per cent), compared to 23 per cent who think she should.


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Written by

Tara Rippin

Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
She loves being part of a community that has a wonderful expat and Spanish mix, and strives to bring the latest and most relevant news to EWN’s loyal and valued readers.

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