Police must do more to tackle violence and harassment against women
By James Sandbach
The weekend's events on Clapham common, and what led to them have been disturbing on many levels. The Capital is if of course a different policing area, but many people I've spoken to in Suffolk share my grave concerns about the unacceptable and heavy-handed policing of the Sarah Everard vigil, its impact on confidence in the police, and the message it conveyed about society's response to issues of gender violence, women's safety and the right to express public grief.
Policing must protect women's safety and respect the right of peaceful assembly - policing by consent is essential for the rule of law to prevail, and any institutional sexism must be rooted out. I hope there is now a full inquiry, and some accountability.
Violence and harassment against women going about their ordinary lives has been normalised and accepted as part of everyday life; this must change!
Government, the justice system, and the police, should be redoubling efforts to tackle violence against women, and for women to feel confident that the justice system is on their side.
As Liberal Democrat Candidate for Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner I pledge to play my part in that, and to listen and engage with women who have the lived experience of not only being victims of violence or harassment, but of the inadequate responses by relevant authorities.