Last week the police officer who kidnapped Sarah Everard from the streets of Lambeth then raped and killed her was sentenced to a whole life tariff. As the facts of the crime have been made public, it has become increasingly clear that the Met Police under the inadequate leadership of Commissioner Cressida Dick continues to fail the citizens of Lambeth and London.
Nothing has changed. There has been no progress. We repeat our demand from 13 March, the night of the Clapham Common vigil:
Cressida Dick must resign.
She did not resign in March, she has not resigned now. This must not stand. If she does not resign, she must be dismissed. If no one is to take responsibility, then we can expect no real change.
It has become painfully clear that Sarah’s ordeal was more horrific than we had already thought possible. This raises further questions about how the Met Police responded to the peaceful vigil on Clapham Common in Sarah’s memory and their failure to screen an obviously dangerous policeman. They have had six months to respond with a plan to deal with misogyny in its ranks and how to make our city safer for women and girls. We find out this week that they have done nothing.
Worse we see Conservative and Labour politicians lining up to support Dick to cover for their own failures.
We also call for:
- Mayor Khan to act immediately and decisively to have Cressida Dick removed as Commissioner.
- The Policing Minister, Kit Malthouse, and Home Secretary, Priti Patel to take responsibility for overseeing a failing police force and take action or resign from their posts.
- Urgent reform of the Met; we support Ed Davey’s call for a Royal Commission on the Met’s conduct and London Assembly member Caroline Pidgeon’s call for “a comprehensive review of recruitment, vetting, conduct and culture with measurable actions”.
- A massive effort in cross-party working at all levels of government - from local to national - to end violence against women and girls, including legislation to make public sexual harassment a crime and the UK to ratify the Istanbul Convention.
Our thoughts and sympathies remain with Sarah’s family and friends at this traumatic time.