An inspection of the Metropolitan Police Service’s policing of a vigil held in commemoration of Sarah Everard

Published on: 30 March 2021

Publication types: Thematic inspection

Police Forces: Metropolitan

HMICFRS was commissioned to inspect how the Metropolitan Police Service handled the policing of the vigil in memory of Sarah Everard on Clapham Common on Saturday 13 March 2021.

Background

The disappearance of 33-year-old Sarah Everard in Clapham, south London, unleashed an outpouring of fears and concerns for their own safety among many women and girls across this country.

National debate gathered speed and many spoke of their own experiences of feeling vulnerable or suffering harassment and abuse from men on the streets or public transport.

Members of Reclaim These Streets (RTS) proposed to organise a vigil for Sarah Everard on Saturday 13 March 2021 on Clapham Common, close to where she had last been seen. However, after a High Court judgment, they subsequently announced that the organised vigil would not take place.

Despite this announcement, members of the public went to Clapham Common and what began as a quiet, sombre affair, became a rally and led to nine arrests. Photographs and video footage of the scenes, including police officers detaining women, were widely circulated on social media and published in the media.

Our commission

On 14 and 15 March 2021 respectively, the Home Secretary and the Mayor of London separately commissioned HMICFRS to inspect how the Metropolitan Police Service handled the policing of the vigil in memory of Sarah Everard.

This report has been compiled in response to both commissions.

Read the report online

An inspection of the Metropolitan Police Service’s policing of a vigil held in commemoration of Sarah Everard on Clapham Common on Saturday 13 March 2021 (HTML)

Download the report

An inspection of the Metropolitan Police Service’s policing of a vigil held in commemoration of Sarah Everard on Clapham Common on Saturday 13 March 2021 (PDF document, 445KB) (PDF document, 445 kB)

Read the commissioning letters

Commissioning letters: Inspection of the policing of the Sarah Everard vigil

Get the press release

Metropolitan Police acted appropriately at the Sarah Everard vigil