'We're angry': London councillors demand Met tackles violence to women
- Credit: PA
More than 260 female councillors from 25 London boroughs have signed a letter to the Metropolitan Police demanding an end to violence against women.
The letter, sent on October 5 to the Metropolitan Police commissioner Cressida Dick, said protection for women must be “an absolute priority".
Councillors from Camden, Barnet, Brent, Haringey, Islington, and Westminster added their names to the letter, including Camden leader Georgia Gould, Haringey leader Peray Ahmet and Islington's Kaya Comer-Schwartz.
This comes after it was revealed that at least 81 women have died at the hands of men since the murder of Sarah Everard in March.
At least 15 of the men known to have killed a woman in the last 12 years were serving or former police officers.
The letter read: “Every day, in our work as local councillors, we see first-hand the waning faith in police.
"Yet again, the onus has been put on women to act to protect themselves, rather than the police accepting their failings and setting out how they will improve the way they police our communities, tackle male violence, and enable women to live free from fear.
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“This is not a case of one bad apple. We need systemic change in the way the police treat women and tackle violence against women and girls.
"As local women councillors from across London we are angry, we are sad but most of all we are determined to do all we can to tackle this epidemic.”
Councillors welcomed announcements of an independent review but said more needed to be done.
The letter detailed several demands including calls for the police to prioritise crimes against women, suspend members of the force accused of violence, implement a training programme addressing misogyny, and commit to recording misogyny as a hate crime.
The letter also emphasised the increased risk of violence faced by BAME and LGBT individuals.
According to the Met's police and crime plan for 2017–2021, 11 women and girls are raped or sexually assaulted in London every week.
The Met did not provide a comment in response to the letter. Commissioner Dick previously said: “We recognise the grave levels of public concern following deeply troubling incidents and allegations. I have said that we know a precious bond has been broken.
“The Met has huge numbers of wonderfully professional officers and staff, but I also recognise the behaviour of too many is of serious concern. I ask you to judge us on how we turn our words into action.”