Bobbies On Parade: Met Commissioner Cressida Dick On Inspection.
Sarah Everard, Police and The Vigil.
The awful killing of Marketing Executive, Sarah Everard, produced a wave of sympathy throughout the country. Her body was found, a week after she went missing. A member of the constabulary was taken into custody, as an alleged, murderer.
A vigil was held in London, in a park, by a bandstand. The bandstand was festooned, with hundreds of floral tributes to the slain, woman. The police said the vigil would be inappropriate, not out of hate for Ms Everard, but because it would be breaking COVID-19 rules.
The vigil was held by approximately 500 women in attendance and some men. The group 'Reclaim The Steets', did not coordinate with the police, how the vigil would coincide with COVID safety precautions.
The vigil on 13 March, on Saturday, started off peacefully as people in attendance paid their respects, to Sarah. There were a number of Met police present but later on, police moved in to break up the vigil. Obviously, in their eyes, the vigil was not acting in respect of COVID laws and therefore, they had the power to break it up. That's when things kicked off and police were seen grabbing females and detaining them. It seems that at first glance, the police were being tough, on a group of mainly, women. However, as with all gatherings, it seems there was those present, that just wanted to cause trouble. It made the police look like the bad guys and this is exactly what those troublemakers wanted.
Boris Johnson for his part said he was shocked at seeing women being handled in such a brutal fashion. Chief Met Officer, Cressida Dick ignored calls to resign.
A report published by 'Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services' has admonished the police at the vigil. The report said that the Force, "was justified in adopting the view that the risks of transmitting COVID-19 at the vigil were too great to ignore". The report said the police acted in a calm and professional manner and were correct in breaking up the vigil.
However, the report did criticise the police for making aggressive remarks as regards, criticism of their deployment and handling of the vigil. It is possible, that the killing of Sarah Everard by a male attacker, has reached a watershed. It seems to have stirred something in many women, into making a stand. Making a stand against male aggression, sexual treatment and rape of women in male culture. Whether in the workplace, home or any other setting, it seems many women are calling this out. As with the killing of George Floyd in the US, women like black people, are saying "Enough is enough" and rightly, so. However, as with BLM, so it is with some women's groups, the extremists spoil it for the genuine people. As BLM extremists think all white people are racist, so many extremist women will think, all men are perverts and potential rapists. If allowed to fester these beliefs, can grow out of all proportion much like in Nazi Germany, where Jews, became the scapegoat for all of Germany's ills.
It has rightly been pointed out, that men too can be victims of violence (sexual or otherwise), stalking and harrassment by women, (even death, in some cases). This is rarely highlighted, perhaps because most men will not come forward, as they are seen as not man enough if they do. Also, because most victims are women and because men, (seemingly because men are seen as the stronger sex sense, at least physically), are seen as the instigators of rape, domestic violence, stalking, killing, etc.
To conclude, both men and women need to engage with each other. A deep conversation and understanding must be reached between both sexes. A new understanding of what is appropriate in conduct, for both sexes. As regards the vigil, those women (and some men) had the right to protest, however, at the same time, the police must enforce stringent COVID regulations.
Sadly, in these confusing times, it is not always easy, to find a happy medium.