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30th Mar 2021

Police handling of Sarah Everard vigil appropriate, says watchdog

Danny Jones

A report following the London Metropolitan Police’s handling of a vigil for Sarah Everard has concluded that officers acted appropriately.

After the police cancelled an official vigil for Sarah Everard, organised by Reclaim These Streets, violence broke out an unofficial follow-up, where police clashed with members of the public. Several arrests were made as the vigil turned into a protest.

Following an investigation into the police intervention, the report ordered by Home Secretary, Priti Patel, has concluded has deemed the police as having acted appropriately and cleared them of being “heavy-handed.”

The investigation found that “the Metropolitan police was justified in adopting the view that the risks of transmitting Covid-19 at the vigil were too great to ignore when planning for and policing the event”.

The report, released on behalf of Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS), “review[ed] hundreds of documents, body-worn video from police officers at the vigil and other media, and interviews with the police, vigil organisers and politicians”.

Sarah Everard was murdered earlier this year while walking home from a friend’s house. She was declared missing and her remains were discovered a week later.