Policing / Women's rights

More policing does not make communities safe

Posted on 01 Oct 2021

The Government need to listen to communities who have also long called for alternative solutions to policing.

Liberty has responded to concerns over women’s safety, and expansive police powers, raised following the sentencing of the police officer who killed Sarah Everard.

Emmanuelle Andrews, Liberty Policy & Campaigns Officer said:

‘Many people are searching for reassurance and ways to stay safe following the sentencing hearing for the murder of Sarah Everard by a serving police officer. Knowing your rights and knowing what the limits of police powers can be helpful, but only to a point. There must be an acknowledgement of how disempowered we all can be when faced with broad and unaccountable police powers, a fact well-known from experience for many of those who routinely bear the brunt of police violence and harassment.

‘We are among many who are calling for a rollback of police powers. The Government – as well as those who have a platform – need to listen to communities who have also long called for alternative solutions to policing.

‘Advising people to run away from police if they are uncomfortable or to “wave down a bus” is not the answer. In fact such advice is actively dangerous for some, young black men in particular. Promising more police patrols is also not the answer. These suggestions insult the women who fear for their safety and they represent a telling disregard for the marginalised communities, people of colour and black people in particular, for whom police do not, and never have, represented safety.

‘Policing and the role police play in Britain today will not fix itself, and Government must start by reducing police powers and looking to alternative ways to keep communities safe.’

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