In the wake of Sarah Everard’s murder, a charity has highlighted the number of women killed by police officers since 2009.
The 33-year-old was killed by Wayne Couzens, who was a serving Metropolitan police officer at the time. He was recently handed a whole life order for Everard’s kidnap, rape and murder.
Amid heightened scrutiny of the police nationwide, particularly after the Met’s questionable advice to those who feel unsafe around an officer, a new campaign has taken a powerful stance, highlighting the women who’ve lost their lives to violence from a serving or former officer.
The charity Refuge displayed black figures outside Scotland Yard with the #EnoughIsEnough hashtag, representing the 16 women who’ve been killed by officers in the past 12 years.
Refuge’s CEO Ruth Davison said the campaign hopes to send ‘a very clear message to the government that we need action.’
‘Earlier this week, we heard that a new inquiry would launch – but that is simply not enough. The Home Secretary [Priti Patel] herself has said enough is enough and we hope that our campaign can bring about real change for women and girls’, she continued.
‘We need to insist that the culture of misogyny in the police is challenged without delay… we know that the government has a clear mandate to do more, and we are hopeful that they will implement the very clear and much needed recommendations that came from the recent Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, Fire and Refuge Services report.’
The charity is fighting for an amendment to the Police, Crime, Sentencing, and Courts Bill to explicitly include domestic abuse, sexual violence and domestic homicide in Serious Violence Duty, making them a priority for police and public bodies working on prevention. The legislation is set to return to the House of Lords on October 20.
Baroness Helena Kennedy QC has pledged to put an amendment in the House. ‘In this Bill, there is a serious violence duty and what we’re seeking to do is to have violence against women and girls included in it,’ she said, as per the Evening Standard.
‘One of the problems that we have around policing is that we have many different regional police forces – over 40. And as a result, policing priorities will change and it’s right that in some areas there will be at a particular time, a set of priorities that will be different from somewhere else.’
Comedian Jo Brand, an ambassador for Refuge, said the Met’s advice to wave down a bus if they felt afraid with a police officer was ‘ridiculous… the onus is not on us to poke people in the eye with a key if we think they’re a bit dodgy. I think it’s time we’re a bit more protected.’
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact the Rape Crisis England and Wales helpline on 0808 802 9999 between 12pm–2.30pm and 7pm– 9.30pm every day. Alternatively, you can contact Victim Support free on 08 08 16 89 111 available 24/7, every day of the year, including Christmas
Male Survivors Partnership is available to support adult male survivors of sexual abuse and rape. You can contact the organisation on their website or on their free helpline 0808 800 5005, open 9am–5pm Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays; 8am–8pm Tuesdays and Thursdays; 10am–2pm Saturdays
Topics: News, Charity, Metropolitan Police, Now, Sarah Everard, UK, Wayne Couzens
Campaign highlights number of women killed by police officers