Fear of women’s safety in UK | Sunday Observer

Fear of women’s safety in UK

10 October, 2021

After the death of Sarah Everard earlier this year, we learn that Everard, 33, was strangled to death by a Metropolitan Police Officer with his own police belt. Wayne Couzens, 48, was sentenced last week to a whole-life term for kidnapping, raping and murdering Everard, who was simply walking home from a friend’s house in South London before she was abducted.

The court was told that Couzens had used his Metropolitan Police-issue warrant card and knowledge from working on Covid patrols to deceive his victim by carrying out a fake arrest for breaching coronavirus guidelines.

Dame Cressida Dick, Metropolitan Commissioner, admitted “a precious bond of trust has been damaged” between the public and the Metropolitan Police. She also emphasised that what happened to Sarah and “other women in London and beyond in recent times has raised important questions about women’s safety.”

Although Dame Cressida faces calls to resign, it was announced earlier this month that she will continue in her role for an additional two years and remain as commissioner until 2024. Dame Cressida reassured the public that she is committed to improve women’s safety and reduce the fear of violence.

Couzens, who had been a police officer since 2002 was sacked by the Metropolitan in July after pleading guilty. The ex-officer burned Everard’s body in a refrigerator and then dumped the remains in a nearby pond.

The Metropolitan police still face many questions, as it is believed that chances were missed to prevent the murder of Everard, after two indecent exposure incidents linked to Couzens in February were failed to be investigated.

UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson explained he was “sickened” by the details that had emerged during the sentencing of Couzens. He said “people must be able to walk on our streets without fear of harm and with full confidence that the police are there to keep them safe.”

However, confidence in the police force to keep the public safe remains low as another woman was attacked earlier this September by an Albanian garage worker. Koci Selamaj allegedly used a two feet long weapon to strike Sabina Nessa repeatedly before carrying her away unconscious. The 28 year old primary school teacher was found covered in leaves in a park the next day.

Since the death of Sarah Everard, 79 women have been murdered across the UK and the number of women that are missing continue to grow. Majority of women live in constant fear and it is uncertain when normality will be restored.

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