flowers as a memorial to Sarah Everard

One year after Sarah Everard’s murder, London looks to next Met Commissioner to rebuild public trust

One year after Sarah Everard’s murder, communities in South London hope that the next Metropolitan Police Commissioner will bring the leadership skills required to rebuild public trust.

Madison Hall, head of Urban Angels Lambeth, a community group that promotes women’s safety, hopes that a clear and transparent plan can be implemented to regain the trust and respect of the public.

Fleur Anderson, MP for Putney, also hopes that the next Metropolitan Police Commissioner can regain the full trust of every Londoner.

Anderson suggested the resignation of Cressida Dick last month was a step in the right direction, saying that the Commissioner had lost the trust of the public, MPs and the mayor, whose lack of confidence led to her resignation.

The MP said the next commissioner needs decisive leadership and an attitude of humility with the ability to recognise the Metropolitan Police requires wholesale change.

Hall agreed with Dick’s resignation, believing that the new commissioner needs to regain the trust and respect of the public by putting people’s safety before the reputation of the institution.

She said: “Until reform is complete, and it has tackled the institutional misogyny that runs deep in the Met today, I don’t think we can say we have confidence in the police in terms of women’s safety.”

Anderson reiterated this, saying that the Metropolitan Police cannot defend officers by saying there are only a few bad apples, but recognise a widespread problem across the force by going after the culture that allowed Everard’s murder in the first place.

These comments come at a time where trust in policing has significantly decreased.

A poll conducted by YouGov has shown that more Britons are unconfident than confident in police, with key shifts in opinion following Everard’s murder.

Both Hall and Anderson believe that a greater police presence and more engagement with South London’s communities is essential for rebuilding this trust.

Everard’s murder by Wayne Couzens was a wakeup call for Hall, sending shockwaves through London that caused herself and many of her friends to become wearier.  

Anderson said it was essential that change is made.

She added: “We do not feel safe on our streets, we want to feel safe on our streets, we should feel safe on our streets, and we should demand nothing less.”

Everard’s family released a statement today.

It said: “It is a year since Sarah died and we remember her today, as every day, with all our love. Our lives have changed forever and we live with the sadness of our loss. Sarah was wonderful and we miss her all the time.”

Featured image credit: Gerry Popplestone via Flickr under a CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 license

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