Protesters and police scuffle at Sarah Everard vigil

Woman pictured being held on ground by police at Sarah Everard vigil wants to meet Cressida Dick

Patsy Stevenson says main point of vigil was that ‘women don’t feel safe’

Peter Stubley
Sunday 14 March 2021 18:39
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The woman who was pictured being restrained on the ground at the vigil for Sarah Everard has said she would like to “sit down and have a conversation” with Metropolitan Police commissioner Cressida Dick.

Patsy Stevenson was given a £200 fine after being arrested at the event at Clapham Common in south London on Saturday night.

Images of Ms Stevenson looking at the camera with her hands cuffed behind her back sparked outrage after they were widely shared on social media.

Home Office minister Victoria Atkins described the police response as “very upsetting”, adding: “That photo is something the police have to explain.”

Ms Stevenson said she was still unsure why she had been detained at the vigil and was considering whether to challenge the fine.

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She told LBC: “We were there to remember Sarah; we all felt deeply saddened, and still do, that it happened; so I brought a candle with me, but unfortunately wasn’t even able to light it to put it down, because the police turned up and barged their way through.

“I think the main point of this ... is that women don’t feel safe, and they don’t feel safe walking down a street. And that’s the bare minimum we should feel the freedom to do, and I think it’s appalling that it’s gone on for this long.”

Asked about Met Police commissioner Cressida Dick, who is facing calls to resign, Ms Stevenson said: “I would like to sit down with her and have a conversation. I think dialogue is very important in this case.”

Ms Stevenson initially issued a video message calling for people to hold a demonstration outside Parliament Square at 5pm on Monday, saying she wanted to “redirect focus away from the police and towards what actually happened. We need to be seen and heard.”

However on Saturday evening she told her followers on Twitter that she would no longer be attending: “I am not going to parliament square tomorrow and do not encourage it.”

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