LONDON (AP) – The suspected kidnapping and murder of a young woman in London while she was going home disappointed Britain and revived a painful question. Why are women so often on the streets safe?
The fate of Sarah Everard is even more shocking, as the suspect arrested on suspicion of killing her is a UK police officer whose job was to protect high-ranking politicians and diplomats.
On March 3, at around 9pm, Everd, a 33-year-old marketing manager, started a 50-minute walk from a friend’s house in south London. No one else has seen him since!
Police arrested a member of the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Defense Command on Tuesday. An unnamed officer in his 40s is being held on suspicion of kidnapping or murder, but has not yet been charged.
Gloomy City Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said on Wednesday that officers had found human remains in the woods south-east of London. They have not been officially identified yet, but the Everard family issued a statement on Thursday, which reads: “Our beautiful daughter Sarah has been taken away from us. We ask for any information that will help solve this horrible crime.”
Everard’s disappearance caused a nationwide protest. Thousands of people turned to information to help find him. After that, the women also began to share the experience of threats or attacks or simply face the daily fear of violence while walking alone.
“When she disappeared, any woman who ever went home alone at night felt that gloomy, instinctive feeling of recognition,” columnist Gaby Hinsliff wrote in The Guardian. “Footsteps on a dark street. They held the keys in your fingers. There, but for the grace of God. ”
Organizers of a planned vigil in memory of Everard will go to court on Friday after police said they could not gather due to coronavirus restrictions. Britain is now blocked, all mass gatherings are banned.
Restore These street organizers want to hold a social gathering on Saturday at Clapham Common, an open space on the way home to Everard. “Security is a priority,” said Anna Birley, one of the organizers.
“It would be ironic of the Iron Case to hold a vigil to think about women’s safety in public without thinking about health and safety,” she said.
The case has also raised tough questions for police. A British police watchdog is investigating allegations of ill-treatment of the same man three days before Everard’s disappearance.
The Independent Police Behavior Office is also investigating how the suspect suffered a head injury while in custody. Police say he was found wounded in the cell and taken to hospital for treatment before returning to the police station.