Edinburgh's independent student newspaper

Does the police want us to like them or fear them?

Friday 29th October 12.52

It has been over 7 months since Sarah Everard was tragically murdered. I still think of her most days. Whether it’s walking alone from a tutorial in the dark or staggering across the Meadows with a group of equally wrecked people, her story still crosses my mind.

Last week, more details were released to the public about what happened on March 3rd 2021. Truthfully, they freaked me out. Growing up you are told to be wary of creepy men lurking in dark alleyways ready to pounce at any given opportunity, so you never walk alone, you never entertain any weird advances. I can guarantee that most were not told to be wary of the married policeman with two kids.

According to the grotesque comments issued by Commissioner Phillip Allott, Sarah Everard should have been wary and, in his own words, should have never ‘submitted’. Hesitant not to go on a rampage, I’m just going to say this made my blood boil. I cannot fathom what was going through his head, but there was little sympathy for the Everard family and a complete disregard for victims of violence. What does he want women to do? I highly doubt he is suggesting everyone receives intense courses in self-defence.

Thankfully, he’s resigned.  If the police are ever to regain the trust of the public, they are going to have to employ senior officials with a greater understanding of the world. Some would say the western police force has a lot of ground to regain due to ACAB protests and now British women being told to hail a bus if they are being questioned by police. It seems there is little faith in those employed to protect.

With domestic violence cases rocketing and stories of drinks being spiked being shared across social media, are the police doing enough to protect women? And if they are, will the future see more monitoring of the police? It feels a bit too authoritarian for police officers to be always monitored to ensure they are sound people. However, for the wellbeing of society as well as the desire to regain the public’s trust, we have to urgently find a way to ensure a case like Sarah Everard’s never occurs again.

Image Credit: The Times