Direct action feminist group Sisters Uncut gathered outside the Old Bailey to protest against police violence today (Wednesday September 29) as the sentence hearing began for the former Metropolitan Police officer who murdered Sarah Everard.
At the sentencing hearing at the Old Bailey, the court heard that the former police officer Wayne Couzens had used his warrant card and handcuffs to kidnap Everard under the false pretence that she was being arrested for breaching Covid guidelines. Everard was walking home from a friend’s house in Clapham at the time.
Outside the Old Bailey today, members of Sisters Uncut cited statistics to argue that the police do not keep women safe.
A spokesperson from the group said: ‘Wayne Couzens used his power as a police officer to kidnap and rape Sarah Everard. We know that this is not a rare occurrence – one woman a week reports a serving police officer for domestic or sexual violence. The police don’t keep women safe, and they cannot be given more powers. We must resist the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.’
Sisters Uncut has announced a series of training sessions on police intervention and a nationwide network of Copwatch patrols. The sessions will cover: how to intervene when you see a stop-and-search, an overview of what your rights are and a guide to supporting those most targeted by police officers.
A vigil was held for Everard at Clapham Common in March, which was deemed unlawful by the Metropolitan Police. The Reclaim the Streets group which helped organise the vigil has challenged the criminalisation of the vigil. The group announced on Monday this week that the case will be heard in The High Court in January 2022.