politics

Boris Johnson breaks silence on Sarah vigil clashes and will meet senior cops


Boris Johnson has said the death of Sarah Everard must “unite us in determination” to drive out violence against women and girls.

The Prime Minister will chair a meeting of the Crime and Justice Taskforce on Monday to look at what action needs to be taken to ensure the UK’s streets are safe.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick is expected to attend the meeting along with Director of Public Prosecutions Max Hill, Priti Patel and Robert Buckland.

Mr Johnson will use it to discuss the Government’s strategy on violence against women and girls, securing safer streets, rape prosecutions and the criminal justice system.

Ahead of the meeting, he said: “Like everyone who saw it I was deeply concerned about the footage from Clapham Common on Saturday night.



A picture of Sarah Everard
Sarah Everard was found dead this week after disappearing while walking home

“I have spoken with the Metropolitan Police Commissioner who has committed to reviewing how this was handled and the Home Secretary has also commissioned HM Inspectorate of Constabulary to conduct a lessons learned review into the policing of the event.

“Tomorrow I will chair a meeting of the Government’s Crime and Justice Taskforce to look at what further action we need to take to protect women and ensure our streets are safe.

“The death of Sarah Everard must unite us in determination to drive out violence against women and girls and make every part of the criminal justice system work to protect and defend them.”

The Home Secretary added: “With Sarah and her family in my thoughts and prayers, I will continue to do all I can in my role as Home Secretary to protect women and girls.

“Everyone should be free to walk our streets without fear of harassment, abuse or violence.



A picture of Dame Cressida Dick
Met Police commissioner Dame Cressida Dick has refused to resign over officers ‘manhandling’ women at a vigil for Ms Everard

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“The Home Office survey on tackling violence against women and girls has received an unprecedented 53,000 responses since it reopened on Friday and I’d urge everyone to give us their views.”

The meeting will be attended by ministers, senior police officers and representatives from the Crown Prosecution Service.

The panel will look at working with forces on local schemes, including increased street lighting and CCTV.

They will also be conducting an in-depth review into the criminal justice system from end to end when it comes to rape and sexual assault.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “With Sarah and her family in my thoughts and prayers, I will continue to do all I can in my role as Home Secretary to protect women and girls.

“Everyone should be free to walk our streets without fear of harassment, abuse or violence.

“The Home Office survey on tackling violence against women and girls has received an unprecedented 53,000 responses since it reopened on Friday and I’d urge everyone to give us their views.”





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