Sarah Everard: Hackney mayor calls for widescale policing review

People in the crowd turn on their phone torches as they gather in Clapham Common, London, after the

People in the crowd turn on their phone torches as they gather in Clapham Common, London, after the Reclaim These Streets vigil for Sarah Everard was officially cancelled. - Credit: PA

Hackney Council has called for a wide-ranging review into community policing, as the response to the murder of Sarah Everard and the nationwide reckoning over violence against women continues to reverberate.

Borough leader Philip Glanville’s Labour administration spoke out this week in support of London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s calls for an independent review into the policing of the Clapham Common vigil for Everard, but added that the Town Hall “wants to go further”.

Glanville called for any review to take a wider look at “failures by the police to deliver for the communities they seek to protect” in the day to day, supporting calls to make misogyny a hate crime.

He also urged the government to provide clarity on protections for women built into forthcoming legislation, adding: “No woman should be forced to limit her freedom because of the actions of men.”

Mayor of Hackney Phil Glanville

Mayor of Hackney Philip Glanville. - Credit: Gary Manhine/Hackney Council

It was announced this week that the Town Hall will sign up to the White Ribbon charity’s accreditation programme and encourage all staff to make the White Ribbon Promise to never commit, excuse or remain silent about male violence against women.

Rebecca Lammers, spokesperson for the local branch of the Women’s Equality Party (WEP), which previously called on the Town Hall to sign up to the programme, welcomed the news and said it is important "that the council commits to becoming accredited before the 2022 local elections to demonstrate their tangible support to ending gender-based violence". 

She added: “Violence against women and girls is not inevitable, with political will it can be stopped."

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In a statement, Glanville and the Town Hall’s Labour group of councillors hoped an investigation would "shed light" on the "appalling" scenes and "unacceptable" police actions taken at the Clapham vigil. 

But, the group added that there are many more women killed whose lives and disappearance are not "marked publicly" or "taken seriously".

They said: “For example, Nicole Smallman and Bibaa Henry, two Black women who went missing after a party. The police did not search for them – their families had to find their bodies.

“The media made a cursory attempt at reporting the tragic murders of these two young women who, like Sarah, were simply guilty of being women living their lives.”

Hackney WEP is to hold a virtual panel discussion on gender equality on 23 March. To buy tickets to the event visit www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/men-are-you-on-board-mens-role-in-gender-equality-tickets-141850549813

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