A candidate for the position of Hampshire Police and Crime Commissioner has provided a statement following the Sarah Everard vigil after Police were seen ‘grabbing and leading women away’ from the vigil in handcuffs.
Steve James-Bailey says, “The police have got a tough job in policing the coronavirus pandemic, however as much as the extraordinary events we saw last night in Clapham Common, the Met police action on the Sarah Everard vigil yesterday, appears appalling and very upsetting.
“This shows the police and especially Cressida Dick, Metropolitan Police Commissioner, in a terrible light.”
59-year old Hampshire Independents’ candidate Steve James-Bailey spent 23 years working with Hampshire Constabulary, serving in Andover. Ex-RAF Mr James-Bailey says:, “The right to free speech and peaceful protests is a fundamental right to democracy.
“The current lockdown rules, governing us to stay local for exercise and not being allowed out except under certain criteria are a generally supported parts of lockdown policy, but there are always exceptions to the rules with unforeseen events. These, historically have formed our ‘unwritten’ laws of the land.
“The emotive issues surrounding this event and other highly emotive issues which provoke public protest, should be exceptions to the rule. The Met police, on this occasion should have supported and engaged with protest organisers with strict social distancing rules in place.
“Discretion certainly didn’t appear to be the order of the day.
“I want to see a full enquiry and await Dame Cressida Dick’s full report on this matter”.