Men should be banned from being outdoors after 6pm to ‘make women a lot safer’ after the abduction and suspected murder of Sarah Everard in London, a Green Party peer has suggested.
Baroness Jones made the comment in a discussion in the House of Lords during a debate on domestic violence.
The issue of women’s safety has been again thrust into the spotlight following the disappearance of 33-year-old Ms Everard as she walked home to Brixton from her friend’s home in Clapham, south-west London, on March 3.
Met Commissioner Cressida Dick revealed last night that human remains were found in the week-long search for the marketing executive in woodland near Ashford in Kent.
A serving Metropolitan Police officer, Wayne Couzens, has been arrested on suspicion of murder and abduction and is being questioned by detectives.
Speaking in the House of Lords last night Baroness Evans said: ‘In the week that Sarah Everard was abducted and, we suppose, killed—because remains have been found in a woodland in Kent — I argue that, at the next opportunity for any Bill that is appropriate, I might put in an amendment to create a curfew for men on the streets after 6 pm.
‘I feel this would make women a lot safer, and discrimination of all kinds would be lessened.’
Baroness Jones made the comment in a discussion in the House of Lords during a debate on domestic violence
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick confirmed human remains have been found in the week-long search for 33-year-old marketing executive Sarah Everard
The Met arrested one of its own officers, Wayne Couzens, on suspicion of murder, pictured left and right with his wife Elena. CCTV from a bus that passed his alleged victim as she walked home
Police search woodland in Ashford near Kent today where human remains were found. Officers say they are not yet able to say if the remains are Sarah Everard’s
Tributes paid to ‘lovely girl’ Sarah Everard
Sarah Everard has been described as ‘beautiful’, ‘sensible’ and a ‘lovely girl’ by friends and family who are now trying to come to terms with the fact human remains have been found in the search for her.
The 33-year-old, who was one of three siblings, grew up in York and attended Fulford School.
Headteacher Steve Lewis described her as a ‘popular and well-liked member of our community’, telling the York Press: ‘Those who taught Sarah speak of a lovely, bright, intelligent girl who shone within the school.’
Her father Jeremy, a professor of electronics at the University of York, and charity worker mother Sue are believed to have travelled to London from their home in York after Ms Everard disappeared.
Ms Everard studied geography at Durham University before moving to the capital – where her brother James and sister Katie also live – around 12 years ago, taking a break from work to travel around South America in 2013.
Living in Brixton, south London, she had recently started a new job as a marketing executive and described herself on her LinkedIn profile as ‘a positive presence’.
Ms Everard had a boyfriend, named as marketing director Josh Lowth, 33.
The Prime Minister said today he was ‘shocked and deeply saddened’ after human remains were discovered in the search for Sarah Everard.
And Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has said ‘the scale of violence, intimidation and misogyny that women and girls suffer on a daily basis’ must be recognised.
At the beginning of his local election campaign launch, the Labour leader said: ‘I want to start by expressing my deepest sympathies to Sarah Everard’s family and friends, who will be experiencing unspeakable grief this morning.
‘This awful news has shaken us all. I’d like to say these incidents are rare, but the truth is that violence against women and girls is far too common.
‘No woman should walk home with fear or threat.
‘And we have to be clear: It’s only by recognising the scale of violence, intimidation and misogyny that women and girls suffer on a daily basis that we can ever start to confront this.’
The arrested officer, who is in the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command, was held on Tuesday night on suspicion of kidnap before being further arrested on suspicion of murder and a separate allegation of indecent exposure the following day.
Dame Cressida sought to reassure the public, saying ‘it is thankfully incredibly rare for a woman to be abducted from our streets’.
She added: ‘But I completely understand that, despite this, women in London and the wider public – particularly those in the area where Sarah went missing – will be worried and may well be feeling scared.’
The Met said the arrested officer’s main job was uniformed patrol of diplomatic premises, but would not specify where he had worked. He was not on duty at the time of Ms Everard’s disappearance.
The diplomatic protection squad is responsible for guarding the Parliamentary estate, including Downing Street and the Palace of Westminster, as well as embassies in London.
A woman in her 30s has been arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender.
Describing the circumstances of Miss Everard’s abduction as ‘awful and wicked’, Dame Cressida said the arrest had ‘sent waves of shock and anger’ through the public and her force.
She added: ‘The news today that it was a Metropolitan Police officer arrested on suspicion of Sarah’s murder has sent waves of shock and anger through the public and through the whole of the Met.
‘I speak on behalf of all my colleagues in the Met when I say we are utterly appalled at this dreadful news. Our job is to patrol the streets and to protect people.
‘The investigation is large, fast moving and very determined. We have hundreds of officers and staff who have been working around the clock.
‘Sarah’s disappearance in these awful and wicked circumstances is every family’s worst nightmare.
‘I know Londoners will want to know that it is thankfully incredibly rare for a woman to be abducted from our streets.
‘But I completely understand that despite this, women in London and the wider public – particularly those in the area where Sarah went missing – will be worried and may well be feeling scared.
‘You should expect to see continued high levels of police patrols in that area as well as very significant investigative activity.’
Officers were yesterday searching an abandoned mini golf park and leisure centre surrounded by acres of woodland near Ashford ahead of the news that human remains had been discovered.
Detectives had previously been focusing their efforts on searching grasses and ponds on Clapham Common – close to Sarah’s last known location on Poynders Road – but switched their attention when teams travelled 80 miles to Kent to make the arrests.