A statement from Councillor Promise Knight (Lead Member for Community Safety and Engagement) on women’s safety following the murder of Sarah Everard

15 March 2021

I am shocked and saddened by the murder of Sarah Everard. This incident once again brings into sharp focus the all too frequent experiences of women and girls in all sections of our society. It’s also a painful reminder of the murders of Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman in our own borough last year.

In the aftermath of the Sarah Everard tragedy, the focus that has been rightly placed on the safety of women, but the issue is much wider than that and covers gender inequality and male violence against women. Our focus must always be on education of men and boys and holding perpetrators accountable for violence, abuse, and harassment.

As a Council, we are committed to change and women’s safety is a high priority. As such we have ensured strategic and partnership commitment to safeguarding and preventing harm to women. However, this does not improve women’s safety on the streets completely as this is a societal issue not just a local problem. It’s also very much a policing issue as well, so we must work with our partners to address the problem and improve women’s safety.

We must do something radically different. We must all work to stop violence against women and girls and vow to make the world a fairer, safer, better place for all women – the type of world fit for our daughters to inherit.