Police ‘acted appropriately’ at Sarah Everard vigil

The Metropolitan Police acted “appropriately” at a vigil for Sarah Everard in south London earlier this month, a police watchdog has found.

The force was criticised after officers handcuffed women and removed them from crowds on Clapham Common on 13 March.

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) found that the force acted in “a measured and proportionate way”.

But it said officers did not respond well enough to changing events.

The home secretary commissioned an independent investigation into the force’s decisions, which were taken in the light of Covid restrictions.

HMIC found that the force was “justified” in deciding that the risks of transmitting coronavirus “were too great to ignore when planning for and policing the event”.

It said officers “did their best to peacefully disperse the crowd” and “remained calm and professional”.

However, it added that “there was insufficient communication between police commanders about changing events on the ground”.

Matt Parr, who led the inspection team, said they had reviewed a “huge body of evidence”.

“We found that there are some things the Met could have done better, but we saw nothing to suggest police officers acted in anything but a measured and proportionate way in challenging circumstances,” he said.

Ms Everard’s death this month prompted a public debate over women’s safety.

The 33-year-old was last seen alive near Clapham Common on 3 March.

Source: (BBC)