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Hertfordshire Police Federation

Vigil officers criticised by ‘ill-informed people’, says Federation chair

1 April 2021

A review by the police inspectorate has found police ‘acted appropriately’ at the Sarah Everard vigil.

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabularies and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) has published a review into the policing of the vigil which took place on Clapham Common in London on 13 March.

John Apter, national chair of the Police Federation, has reacted to the review’s findings.

He said: “The Clapham Common vigil was an incredibly sensitive event and a natural reaction to the tragic death of Sarah Everard. People wished to pay their respects, but this took place during a pandemic while the country was in lockdown.

“The actions of my colleagues at this vigil were harshly criticised by ill-informed people. These included some politicians and media, and others in positions of authority and influence.

“The HMICFRS review into the actions of the Metropolitan Police show these same people were too quick to make inflammatory, derogatory, and insensitive comments about police officers, with limited knowledge and context.

“They inflamed the situation and created further tension. They also undermined the incredibly difficult and complex job police officers do, especially in these types of situations. In addition, they further undermined the confidence the public have in policing.”

He said police officers were unfairly vilified and that comments about their actions were “wholly disproportionate” and “damaging”.

The national chair added: “Those responsible should reflect on their behaviour and publicly apologise to my colleagues. It’s important that we don’t forget why people felt so strongly about attending the vigil in the first place. My thoughts and those of my colleagues are with Sarah Everard’s family and friends at this incredibly difficult time.”

 

 

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