Brent's community chief 'saddened' by Sarah Everard killing

Sarah Everard disappeared in Clapham on March 3.

Sarah Everard disappeared in Clapham on March 3. - Credit: Metropolitan Police

Brent's community safety lead has said she is "shocked and saddened" by the killing of Sarah Everard and called for a focus on educating men and boys.

Ms Everard went missing on her way home in south London on March 3, before her body was found in Kent a week later.

For Cllr Promise Knight, it is a "painful reminder" of the killing of Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman in Fryent Country Park in June last year.

Cllr Promise Knight, lead member for community safety and engagement at Brent Council

Cllr Promise Knight, lead member for community safety and engagement at Brent Council - Credit: Brent Council

She said "something radically different" must be done to protect women and girls.

"I am shocked and saddened by the murder of Sarah Everard," she said.

"This incident once again brings into sharp focus the all-too-frequent experiences of women and girls in all sections of our society.

"It’s also a painful reminder of the murders of Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman in our own borough last year.

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"In the aftermath of the Sarah Everard tragedy, the focus that has been rightly placed on the safety of women, but the issue is much wider than that and covers gender inequality and male violence against women. Our focus must always be on the education of men and boys and holding perpetrators accountable for violence, abuse and harassment."

She said women's safety is a "high priority" for the council.

The Brent’s Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) strategy is incorporated into the Safer Brent, Community Safety Partnership Strategy 2018 - 2021. This is a priority action plan to tackle all forms of violence and abuse that disproportionately affects females.

In 2019/20, Brent saw a 5.4 per cent decrease in reported sexual offences and a 3.6 per cent decrease in domestic abuse with injury offences when compared to the previous year, a spokesperson said. 

Brent commissions several specialist VAWG organisations to provide targeted support to victims, survivors and perpetrators of violence and abuse and works with other local, regional and national providers such as the Women and Girls Network and the Asian Women’s Resource Centre.

Prior to the pandemic the council signed up to the Women’s Night Safety Charter and worked alongside local night-time economy venues.

Cllr Knight added it was a "societal issue": "We must all work to stop violence against women and girls and vow to make the world a fairer, safer, better place for all women – the type of world fit for our daughters to inherit."

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