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  • Hello, Welcome if you're watching in the UK or around the world, there are calls here in the UK for London's Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Dame Cressida Dick, to resign after criticism over how her force handled a vigil in memory of Sarah Everard, the 33 year old woman whose body was found in Woodland days after she disappeared.

  • Police were seen scuffling with women at the event in Clapton Common in south London, close to where Sarah was last seen alive.

  • Some of them were handcuffed.

  • Well, the Met has defended its actions, saying that with hundreds of people packed together, there was a risk of spreading coronavirus.

  • But the home secretary, Pretty Patel, has demanded full details about exactly what happened.

  • Simon Jones has the latest, and his report now does contain some flashing images.

  • No police move in to try to break up an unofficial vigil to mark the life of Sarah Evrard, near to the spot where she was last seen.

  • Mhm mhm.

  • More than 1000 people had gathered.

  • The police said it wasn't safe under lockdown restrictions, but the organization reclaimed the streets, which had cancelled its own plans for a vigil, said it was deeply saddened and angered by scenes of officers physically man handling women at an event against male violence.

  • This image has made front page news.

  • People are angry.

  • They're angry that we were silenced in this case about women being silenced and women having violence against them.

  • The police said they had repeatedly asked people to obey the law and go home.

  • But in a tweet, the home secretary said, some of the footage circulating online from the vigilant clap um, is upsetting.

  • I have asked the Metropolitan Police for a full report on what happened.

  • Yeah, the mayor of London said.

  • Although the police have a responsibility to enforce covid laws, the response was at times neither appropriate nor proportionate.

  • And there are calls for the Mets commissioner who visited Clap UM on Friday to resign.

  • The leader of the Liberal Democrats said Cressida Dick had lost the confidence of the millions of women in London In the early hours of this morning, the police defended their actions, saying hundreds of people have been tightly packed together, posing a very real risk of covid being spread.

  • Part of the reason I'm speaking to you tonight is because we accept that the actions of our officers have been questioned.

  • We absolutely did not want to be in a position where enforcement action was necessary, but we were placed in this position because of the overriding need to protect people's safety.

  • Mhm in Brixton Hill reclaim these streets lit candles to mark the lives of women killed by men.

  • Sarah Everard was remembered to at Downing Street and by the labour leader.

  • A serving police officer.

  • Wayne Cousins has been charged with her murder.

  • Will next appear in court on Tuesday.

  • Sarah's family, who described her as bright and beautiful, are now trying to come to terms with their loss.

  • Simon Jones, BBC News and We can go live now to our reporter Emily Union, who joins us from Clapham Common in South London.

  • And Emily.

  • We can see some of the people who come there to pay their respects and and the flowers that have been laid as well.

  • Yeah, there's been a steady stream of people arriving all morning here at Clapham Common to lay flowers to like handles and to pay their respects.

  • They're pausing.

  • They're having a moment to reflect and think about what happened to Sarah Evrard.

  • It's very peaceful.

  • It's calm.

  • People are on the whole, very quiet, actually.

  • But, you know, there's a lot of people here.

  • It was a different scene last night.

  • I think it started out very quiet, very calm yesterday afternoon, But around six o'clock, the police say, things changed.

  • Much larger numbers of people gathered here, and there was shouting and chanting.

  • They ask people to leave because social distancing wasn't possible.

  • When that didn't happen, the police said they had no option but to move in to disperse the crowds to protect public safety.

  • And four arrests were made.

  • But of course, the problem that we have this morning those images on the front page of the newspapers.

  • This was meant to be a very sort of peaceful vigil, really to highlight male violence against women.

  • And instead we have these pictures of police restraining women handcuffing them, leading them away.

  • And that is not a good look for the Metropolitan Police.

  • So now there are calls for Dane Cressida Dick, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner to resign, and also questions being asked about exactly how things escalated to this stage.

  • So, you know, there is an expectation today at some point that Dame Cressida Dick will have to come out and say something about what happened.

  • All right, Emily, thank you very much indeed.

  • Well, the Liberal Democrat leader said Davy has called on the Met commissioner Dane Cressida Dick to resign.

  • And liberal Democrat peer Lord Paddock, a former deputy assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, said that the party's leader was right to speak out.

  • Look, I was a colleague with Cressida Dick for decades.

  • I'd like to think that Crusader is a friend of mine and I don't want to get into that debate.

  • But what I would say is that my leader, the leader of the liberal Democrats, Ed Davey, last night wrote to Cressida Dick asking her to consider her position.

  • And I absolutely agree that that was the right thing for Ed Davey to do well.

  • In fact, there's been cross party condemnation of the Metropolitan Police's handling of the event last night, and I've been getting more details from our political correspondent Helen Cat this week.

  • In the last few days, we've seen this real outpouring from from women about what it is like to be a woman walking down the street on your own and how women can feel safer about the issue of violence against women.

  • The Home Office reopened its call for evidence for violence against women and girls on Friday evening.

  • In the 1st 24 hours of that, they say they've got just under 20,000 responses.

  • So there's been a huge reaction and the political language around this.

  • The political reaction has been to say, Okay, we're listening, We're listening, We understand the sensitivities and we're hearing you.

  • And then, of course, what we saw last night.

  • I didn't send that message at all.

  • It was completely at odds with that.

  • And that is why you're getting such a strong political reaction and why there's such a focus on the way the police chose to deal with this.

  • So have a listen to Jess Phillips.

  • She is Labour's shadow domestic violence minister.

  • I think that the police got it wrong at every single turn, not just the final image that we see, but all day, yesterday and the day before, The police did not try and find a way for a peaceful protest, not protest, actually a vigil a moment.

  • They did not try and find a way to work with women who are sad and angry and upset to to be able to not even gather, but just go to clap in common.

  • There are a million ways that that could have been organized, but the police put their foot down before they put their boot in, and at every stage they made the wrong call.

  • Of course, the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, made the point that the police do have to enforce the covid laws, the coronavirus laws.

  • But from the images that he had seen, he thought it was clear that the response was at times neither appropriate nor proportionate.

  • The Home secretary has asked for a full report from the Met police commissioner Cressida Dick.

  • Today the Victoria Atkins, who was a Home Office minister, said that that was the right thing to do.

  • If you'll forgive me, I'm not gonna trust us on the conversation at this stage between the home secretary and the Met commissioner.

  • She will be laying out her report.

  • The Home Secretary will be considering it very carefully.

  • Um, and we will see what happens after that.

  • But I do again want to make the point that this we shouldn't tar the whole policing, Um, family.

  • With these incidents, I've had the pleasure of working with police officers both as a minister, but also actually before when I I used to prosecute criminals and I wouldn't want people to think that that is, um that is the police response more generally to these very difficult issues.

  • Now there are going to be questions asked if the government to about how the police have been put in this very difficult position of having to decide which protests which vigils in this case go ahead.

  • And I think there is going to be questions asked around, You know, should there be some sort of provision within the coronavirus legislation to allow this sort of thing?

  • You know, I think there will be pressure on them to explain that.

  • And this all comes at the start of quite a big week For the government.

  • It's putting forward.

  • It's a police crime sentencing and court bill tomorrow, which covers a huge range of things to do with the criminal justice system, one part of which there is about giving the police more powers to restrict or or to enforce around nonviolent protests.

  • So I think that would be a backdrop to discuss that in.

  • I think it's going to be a probably not the one that they would have wanted.

  • Helen can't reporting there, and she was mentioning that claim.

  • Police crime, sentencing and courts bill labor, we're just hearing have said they will vote against that bill, which is being put to parliament this week.

  • Bill.

  • That would give the police more powers to impose restrictions on non violent protests so Labour will vote against that.

  • Well, let's talk more about what happened last night in clapping with Dame Vera Bed, whose victims commissioner for England and Wales.

  • She was previously police and crime commissioner for Northumbria and is a former solicitor general as well.

  • Thank you so much for being with us on BBC News.

  • What did you make of the police actions?

  • Um, in bringing to an end this vigil in Clapham Common, I've felt that they did get it wrong, that it was disproportionate.

  • Um, I look forward to the Home Secretary's comments on the report that she's requested from the Metropolitan Police commissioner, but as an inadvertent message to send out to women in particular who have been saying over the last week.

  • The streets are lawless, men can say and do what they want to women, and the criminal justice system doesn't help.

  • It is the most appalling parody that were left this morning with photographs of police officers with their knee on the back of young women whilst they handcuffed them.

  • It was what was indeed intended to be and was, I think, throughout a peaceful demonstration, breach of the regulation.

  • I mean, in their defense, the Metropolitan Police are saying that there were hundreds of people gathered there.

  • There was a risk of spreading covid 19.

  • I mean, what do you say to that?

  • I don't know how you restrict the impact of spreading Covid 19 by arresting and dealing with it the way that they did.

  • My understanding is that there were other places, I think, notably the West Midlands, where the same sequence happened.

  • Somebody organized.

  • The police said no, it couldn't go ahead.

  • They canceled, but nonetheless, you know, emotions were very high.

  • People felt very strongly that they wanted to make a point for Sarah Everard, and they still went.

  • And in the West Midlands, my understanding was there were a lot of people there.

  • They were under control.

  • They had a vigil.

  • They had a moment.

  • Silence.

  • The police were nowhere to be seen.

  • They were there.

  • But they made no impression on it at all.

  • They simply saw the people are here.

  • It is too late.

  • Let's just stand by.

  • And that is exactly what happens.

  • What happened in my local park as well?

  • My friends tell me, please attended.

  • They watched something happened and just didn't intervene.

  • Because, you know, what can you do?

  • You have tried to stop it.

  • It hasn't been stopped, you know, taking quasi military tactics like circling the bandstand around which everybody you know has had caught their poses of flowers in memory of Sarah ever are trampled and then cut off from it.

  • You know, it's very provocative way of going forward.

  • It is a shame.

  • It's a shame, you say.

  • Does that mean that the Cressida dick, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, should resign?

  • There are a lot of people calling for her head now what would you say?

  • It wouldn't be my place to do that.

  • And of course, in the end, she carries the counter whatever goes wrong.

  • But it seems to me that the difference between what happened in my little local park, according to my friends and what happened to Clap Commons seems to indicate that there was some local influence over how this was pleased as well.

  • So I think the right thing to do is to say the police have a difficult job.

  • They didn't do this one very well.

  • The Home secretary wants to know what happened.

  • Let's wait until we all see that.

  • And let's Hope came.

  • Secretary thinks it right and proper to let that statement of what happened come into the public domain.

  • Because there are a lot of people angry about this now who do see it as sort of gross parody, that male police officers were violent to women who were complaining about male violence against women.

  • So people will need to know what has been said, what the justifications are and what the home secretary's view of it is.

  • And and can we just broaden this out a bit?

  • Just give us your sense of why women clearly feel they are being let down time and again by the police, but also by the criminal justice system in this country.

  • I think you can see it in what's been said over the past few days.

  • Women of all kinds, you know, from journalists like like you to trade unionists, students to doctors who have all experienced predatory male behavior on the street and who are therefore really saying these streets are lawless where there is no criminal justice system.

  • We don't feel reassured when we hear footprints behind us that somebody will help us out or that if we make a complaint, it will go anywhere.

  • And clearly, the criminal justice system is not deterring this behavior from males because it's happening so frequently.

  • I mean, you know, the backdrop against which it happens is that a prosecution rate for rape is 1.4% more than 98% of the 55,000 women and some men who've complained of rape in the last year 98% have had no prosecution brought.

  • So, of course, women say to themselves they won't prosecute rape.

  • They're not going to take my complaint seriously about being harassed on the street.

  • It's not good.

  • This is a risk now.

  • 50% of the population looks as if it's losing confidence in the criminal justice system.

  • Uh, thank you so much for your time.

  • Dame Vera.

  • Burn victims commissioner for England and Wales.

  • Thank you.

Hello, Welcome if you're watching in the UK or around the world, there are calls here in the UK for London's Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Dame Cressida Dick, to resign after criticism over how her force handled a vigil in memory of Sarah Everard, the 33 year old woman whose body was found in Woodland days after she disappeared.

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/03/14
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