By Laura Kemp • 30 March 2021 • 14:11
Review Finds Police Acted Appropriately at Sarah Everard Vigil. image: Twitter
A REVIEW has found Met Police “acted appropriately” at the Sarah Everard vigil.
A report carried out by her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) has found that the force used by Met Police at the Sarah Everard vigil “was justified in adopting the view that the risks of transmitting covid-19 at the vigil were too great to ignore.”
The vigil was held at Clapham Common on March 13 for Marketing Executive, Sarah, after her body was found a week after she went missing in London. Police had forewarned that it would breach lockdown rules.
Hundreds of people turned up to pay their respects and lay flowers on the bandstand, despite Reclaim These Streets failing to agree with the Met on how the vigil could be held with regards to the current lockdown restrictions.
The vigil started off peacefully, however, things turned south within a few hours after a number of women were held on the ground and arrested.
The report states that: “officers remained calm and professional when subjected to abuse” and “did not act inappropriately or in a heavy-handed manner.”
However, it also said that there was insufficient communication between police commanders about changing circumstances at the vigil.
The watchdog also said the force should have used “a more conciliatory response” and that confidence in the Met Police from the public had “suffered as a result” of the handling.
Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, said he was “deeply concerned” by footage of Met Police from the event.
Sir Thomas Winsor, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary, said: “Our civilian police model is precious. Officers are our fellow citizens, invested by the community to keep the community safe.”
“They rely upon and are entitled to receive public support when they act lawfully, sensitively and proportionately; in this case, in the face of severe provocation and in very difficult circumstances, they did just that.”
Dame Cressida Dick, Met Police Commissioner, defended the force’s actions and dismissed calls to resign following the event.
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Originally from UK, Laura is based in Axarquia and is a writer for the Euro Weekly News covering news and features.
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