The government’s plans to send plainclothes police officers to British nightclubs and to improve the lighting of public places to increase the safety of women, in the wake of the murder of a young Londoner who has caused emotional turmoil, fear and anger in the United Kingdom, were criticized as “ridiculous” by experts and human rights defenders.
The government announced the measures, as the murder of 33-year-old Sara Everand and the violent intervention of the police on Saturday night to disperse a vigil organized in the memory of the woman, sparked a debate in the country on women’s safety and a storm of reactions against the police.
Many argued that broader action is needed to address the root causes of gender-based violence throughout society and to rebuild the lost trust between women and police officers.
«Cops in bars is ridiculousSaid Susanna Fiss, a former Nottinghamshire police chief, who described the measure as “a pointless move impressive for public relations”.
“Sarah Everard was not in a bar and was just walking home, as were thousands of women who have been harassed, sexually assaulted and verbally abused in public,” Fiss said.
An Interior Ministry spokesman was not immediately available for comment.
The National Council of Police Chiefs stressed that it is working with the government to understand the details of the government’s proposals.
Everand, who worked as a marketing executive, disappeared on March 3 as she was walking home returning from a friendly home. Her body was later found in a forest about 50 miles away in the south east of England.
Acting police officer Wayne Cousins, 48, appeared in court on Saturday and is charged with kidnapping and killing her.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said new measures to strengthen police presence in nightclubs and clubs and improve public security, with measures such as better lighting and security cameras will “reassure more” women.
However, these measures focus on the “symptom” rather than the “treatment” of social norms that normalize men’s violence against women, said Denise Ugur, co-director of the Alliance for an End to Violence Against Women.
«I can not understand why any woman would trust them“, Added Nicki, a member of Sisters Uncut, a feminist immediate action group that clashed with police during a vigil in London on Saturday.
“It is extremely worrying that anyone would give extra powers to the police at this time, because it is obvious that the police can not be tasked with keeping women safe and they are not trustworthy,” she said. give its full name due to security concerns.
Women’s rights activists and experts have called for action, including compulsory schooling on sexual consent, anti-rape myth campaigns, more money for women’s advocacy organizations and making misogyny a hate crime.
More work is also needed to tackle biased sexual harassment and abuse in some police departments, said Loretta Trickett, an associate professor at Nottingham Law School who has worked on homophobia and policing.
«Providing only more street lighting and ensuring that there are more police around nightclubs is not going to change the culture in the wider society “And it is not going to change the culture we see in some police officers.”