Green Party peer calls for ALL MEN to face 6pm CURFEW: Baroness Jones calls for ban on males after dark to ‘make women feel safer and lessen discrimination’ as women share their fears of violence in wake of Sarah Everard murder
- The peer spoke in a debate in the House of Lords on domestic violence
- Ms Everard, 33, has not been seen since she walked home to Brixton on March 3
- Met Commissioner revealed last night that remains had been found in Kent
Men should be banned from being outdoors after 6pm to ‘make women a lot safer’ after the abduction and suspected murder of Sarah Everard in London, a Green Party peer has suggested.
Baroness Jones made the comment in a discussion in the House of Lords during a debate on domestic violence.
The issue of women’s safety has been again thrust into the spotlight following the disappearance of 33-year-old Ms Everard as she walked home to Brixton from her friend’s home in Clapham, south-west London, on March 3.
Met Commissioner Cressida Dick revealed last night that human remains were found in the week-long search for the marketing executive in woodland near Ashford in Kent.
A serving Metropolitan Police officer, Wayne Couzens, has been arrested on suspicion of murder and abduction and is being questioned by detectives.
It prompted scores of high profile women, including Home Secretary Priti Patel, to speak out on the issue of women’s fears of being the victims of crime at night.
But amid demands for action, Baroness Jones went a step further. Speaking in the House of Lords last night the 71-year-old mother of two daughters, said: ‘In the week that Sarah Everard was abducted and, we suppose, killed—because remains have been found in a woodland in Kent — I argue that, at the next opportunity for any Bill that is appropriate, I might put in an amendment to create a curfew for men on the streets after 6 pm.
‘I feel this would make women a lot safer, and discrimination of all kinds would be lessened.’
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick confirmed human remains have been found in the week-long search for 33-year-old marketing executive Sarah Everard
The Met arrested one of its own officers, Wayne Couzens, on suspicion of murder, pictured left and right with his wife Elena. CCTV from a bus that passed his alleged victim as she walked home
Baroness Jones made the comment in a discussion in the House of Lords during a debate on domestic violence
Police search woodland in Ashford near Kent today where human remains were found. Officers say they are not yet able to say if the remains are Sarah Everard’s
First Green peer who worked with hard-left icon Ken Livingstone
Jenny Jones is a mother of two who has sat in the House of Lords since 2013 as the first Green Party peer.
She made several unsuccessful bids to be elected as an MP but spent 16 years on the London Assembly. She came third in the 2012 election won by Boris Johnson.
Previously she served as deputy mayor to Ken Livingstone from 2003-4, when the hard Left icon was mayor (below).
She was born and raised in Brighton on the Moulsecomb estate, ‘the daughter of a hospital cook and a dinner lady’.
She did various jobs including crafts teacher, a secretary, a book keeper, a shop assistant and an office manager before going to university aged 45 to study archaology and working as an academic for 10 years.
Her website boasts that she ‘has no pets, no car and grows her own vegetables in summer’.
In 2013 the Green Party was asked to nominate its first member of the House of Lords. Jenny Jones was chosen by party members and became a life peer. She was later joined in the upper house by former party leader Natalie Bennett.
It came as Priti Patel said ‘every woman should feel safe to walk our streets without fear of harassment or violence’, amid rising calls for action to make streets safer for women at night.
The Home Secretary said that ‘every woman should feel safe to walk on our streets’ as dozens shared their harrowing personal stories with #saraheverard and #TooManyMen as Reclaim These Streets marches were announced.
Ms Patel vowed that she would ‘do all [she] can to protect women and girls from violence and harassment’ and praised women for sharing their own experiences on social media.
Ms Everard’s disappearance has ignited fury over the issues of female safety with hundreds of women openly discussing the fear they have felt when alone in public day or night.
Reclaim These Streets marches, designed to show that women should feel safe no matter the time of day, are now being organised.
Downing Street today said that the Government was working with ‘law enforcement agencies, charities, women’s group’ to develop a strategy to ensure women’s safety.
Asked what practical steps the Government is taking now, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman told a Westminster briefing: ‘That will help us better target perpetrators and support victims of these crimes and increase our ability to tackle new and emerging forms of violence against women and girls, such as upskirting and revenge porn,’ he added.
‘The Prime Minister said previously it remains his intent to ensure that we work to reduce crime across the country.’
Downing Street also declined to back Conservative London mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey, when asked about accusations he had politicised the disappearance as part of his campaign ahead of the election in May.
Sir Keir Starmer has said ‘the scale of violence, intimidation and misogyny that women and girls suffer on a daily basis’ must be recognised.
At the beginning of his local election campaign launch, the Labour leader said: ‘No woman should walk home with fear or threat.
Priti Patel has said that ‘every woman should feel safe to walk on our streets’ as dozens share their harrowing personal stories with #saraheverard and #TooManyMen as Reclaim These Streets marches are announced
Ms Patel vowed that she would ‘do all she can to protect women and girls from violence and harassment’ and praised women for sharing their own experiences on social media
Labour MP Diane Abbott (left) and author Caitlin Moran (right) are among those who have spoken out about their own experiences
Dr Julia Grace Patterson: ‘This must be a moment of reckoning’
Dr Julia Grace Patterson, who runs campaigning organisation EveryDoctor UK, took to Twitter to share her own experience
Dr Julia Grace Patterson, who runs campaigning organisation EveryDoctor UK, took to Twitter to share her own harrowing experience.
She wrote: ‘I feel exposed tweeting this, but I think I’ll do it anyway. I cried tears of anger and exhaustion and heartache last night for Sarah.
‘But I also cried for all women. I was attacked on the street by a man when I was at medical school.
‘My facial injuries meant I had to seek A+E treatment. I was then stalked by the police officer who’d taken my evidence (my passport, bag and keys, which had been stuffed in a nearby bin).
‘I was called daily by this police officer who said he was handling my case. Eventually when he accepted I’d turned down his romantic advances, he sent my things to a police station in the outskirts of London, and it took me several weeks to track them down.
‘I had no ID, no phone, no money. I was a new student in London. I had PTSD symptoms from my attack, physical injuries, and shame I didn’t report him because I felt stupid, like I’d done something wrong.
‘Like my presence on that street in broad daylight has attracted the attack. I am still scared of walking alone in my own neighbourhood at night. Sarah could be any one of us and I’m devastated for her.
‘I’m devastated for all of us. This must be a moment of reckoning. It’s 2021. #saraheverand.’
‘And we have to be clear: It’s only by recognising the scale of violence, intimidation and misogyny that women and girls suffer on a daily basis that we can ever start to confront this.’
Dozens of women have shared their stories of being stalked in light of Sarah’s disappearance, including Labour MP Diane Abbott, actor Katy Brand and author Caitlin Moran.
Diane Abbott wrote: ‘Even after all these years if I am out late at night on an isolated street & I hear a man’s footsteps behind me I automatically cross the road.
‘It is the habit of a lifetime to try & keep safe. But it should not have to be like this #SarahEverard.’
Katy Brand also said: ‘Important to clarify I think that although instances of kidnap and murder from a stranger are indeed rare, being aggressively followed in the street by a man is not rare at all.
‘I think it would be good to separate the two things. Lots of us have been scared many times.’
And Caitlin Moran added: ‘Being a woman: my ‘outside’ day finishes at sundown. If I haven’t taken the dog for a walk/jogged by then, I can’t. In the winter, it often means the choice between exercise and work. Today, I had to stop work at 4 to exercise. My husband worked until 6, and is now off for a run.
‘I am 45 and it is 2021 and I am essentially under a curfew. Like all women. And there are absolutely no exit plans for this. It’s just presumed women will stay home when it’s dark… forever.’
The arrested officer, who is in the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command, was held on Tuesday night on suspicion of kidnap before being further arrested on suspicion of murder and a separate allegation of indecent exposure the following day.
Dame Cressida sought to reassure the public, saying ‘it is thankfully incredibly rare for a woman to be abducted from our streets’.
She added: ‘But I completely understand that, despite this, women in London and the wider public – particularly those in the area where Sarah went missing – will be worried and may well be feeling scared.’
The Met said the arrested officer’s main job was uniformed patrol of diplomatic premises, but would not specify where he had worked. He was not on duty at the time of Ms Everard’s disappearance.
The diplomatic protection squad is responsible for guarding the Parliamentary estate, including Downing Street and the Palace of Westminster, as well as embassies in London.
A woman in her 30s has been arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender.
Describing the circumstances of Miss Everard’s abduction as ‘awful and wicked’, Dame Cressida said the arrest had ‘sent waves of shock and anger’ through the public and her force.
She added: ‘The news today that it was a Metropolitan Police officer arrested on suspicion of Sarah’s murder has sent waves of shock and anger through the public and through the whole of the Met.
‘I speak on behalf of all my colleagues in the Met when I say we are utterly appalled at this dreadful news. Our job is to patrol the streets and to protect people.
‘The investigation is large, fast moving and very determined. We have hundreds of officers and staff who have been working around the clock.
‘Sarah’s disappearance in these awful and wicked circumstances is every family’s worst nightmare.
‘I know Londoners will want to know that it is thankfully incredibly rare for a woman to be abducted from our streets.
‘But I completely understand that despite this, women in London and the wider public – particularly those in the area where Sarah went missing – will be worried and may well be feeling scared.
‘You should expect to see continued high levels of police patrols in that area as well as very significant investigative activity.’
Officers were yesterday searching an abandoned mini golf park and leisure centre surrounded by acres of woodland near Ashford ahead of the news that human remains had been discovered.
Detectives had previously been focusing their efforts on searching grasses and ponds on Clapham Common – close to Sarah’s last known location on Poynders Road – but switched their attention when teams travelled 80 miles to Kent to make the arrests.
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