Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - UK police under fire after vigil crackdown

UK police under fire after vigil crackdown

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Officers scuffle with people gathering at a bandstand where a planned vigil in honour of murder victim Sarah Everard was cancelled after police outlawed it due to Covid-19 restrictions, on Clapham Common, south London on Saturday. AFP

UK police under fire after vigil crackdown

Police in London drew widespread criticism after handcuffing mourners at a vigil for a woman who was murdered early this month, in a case that has sparked national fury about violence against women.

Officers scuffled with some members of the hundreds-strong crowd that gathered despite coronavirus restrictions for a candlelit tribute late on March 13 close to the spot where 33-year-old marketing executive Sarah Everard disappeared on March 3.

Reclaim These Streets – who initially organised the event in south London’s Clapham – condemned the actions of officers “physically manhandling women at a vigil against male violence”.

Social media footage showed police restraining and handcuffing some mourners, leading to an outpouring of criticism from across the political spectrum.

Both Home Secretary Priti Patel and London mayor Sadiq Khan said they had asked for explanations from the Metropolitan police over how the vigil was handled.

And Liberal Democrats leader Ed Davey called for Metropolitan police chief Cressida Dick to resign, having “lost the confidence of millions of women in London”.

The murder of Everard, who vanished after setting out to walk home from a friend’s flat, has shocked the country and brought discussion around women’s safety to the fore once again.

Wayne Couzens, 48, a serving officer in the Metropolitan Police’s elite diplomatic protection unit, appeared in court earlier on March 13 charged with kidnap and murder following his arrest at his home in Kent, southeast England. The victim’s body was discovered in a nearby wood.

Organisers had cancelled the vigil after police outlawed it because of Covid-19 restrictions, but hundreds still turned out on March 13, with tensions overspilling as night fell.

Mourners shouted “shame on you” at police, with tensions running high as the man arrested in connection with the murder is an officer.

In the hours following the vigil, rage mounted with pressure groups and politicians condemning police actions.


  • 12th Cambodia int’l film festival to see return of Hollywood star

    Phnom Penh is set to come alive with the magic of cinema as the highly anticipated 12th Cambodia International Film Festival (CIFF) takes centre stage. Boasting an impressive line-up of 188 films from 23 countries, including captivating shorts, feature films, documentaries and animation, the festival promises an

  • Bareknuckle champion wants Kun Khmer fighter

    Dave Leduc, who is the current openweight Lethwei boxing champion in Myanmar, has announced that he will travel to Cambodia this year to challenge SEA Games gold medallist Prum Samnang any time that is convenient, after their planned match later this month in Slovakia was

  • Brawl marrs football final as Indonesian take gold in seven goal thriller

    The Indonesian men's U22 men national football team were crowned champions of the 32nd SEA Games in Cambodia, defeating Thailand 5-2 in extra time on May 16 at Olympic National Stadium in Phnom Penh. The match was marred by an ugly incident that occured in the 91

  • Fresh Covid warnings as Thai hospital fills

    A senior health official reminds the public to remain vigilant, as neighbouring countries experience an increase in Covid-19 cases, with the latest surge appearing to be a result of the Omicron XBB.1.5 sub-variant. Or Vandine, secretary of state and spokeswoman for the Ministry of Health,

  • 1.4 billion dollar Phnom Penh-Bavet expressway due in four years

    The Government, through the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, has officially signed a public-private partnership agreement with a private company for the construction of a Phnom Penh-Bavet Expressway project that will connect the capital to Svay Rieng province. The budget for the project is

  • New Law on Taxation comes into effect

    Cambodia has enacted the eagerly-awaited new Law on Taxation, which aims to improve the national tax regime’s compliance with present and future international standards and economic conditions; encourage accountability, effectiveness and transparency in the collection process; and promote investment in the Kingdom. King Norodom