Police warning over Norfolk vigil for murdered Sarah Everard

Police front up to demonstrators at a vigil for Sarah Everard in London

Police front up to demonstrators at a vigil for Sarah Everard in London - Credit: Victoria Jones/PA

Police in Norfolk are warning people not to attend a vigil in memory of Sarah Everard.

Miss Everard, 33, went missing on March 3, as she walked home from a friend's house in London. Her remains were found in woods in Kent on March 10 and police officer Wayne Couzens has been charged kidnap and murder.

There were arrests and angry scenes last Saturday as officers handcuffed and removed women from a vigil to remember Miss Everard on Clapham Common. An independent inquiry is under way into the policing of the demo.

A vigil has been planned for Saturday night in the Saturday Market Place in King's Lynn. Organisers say police have been consulted and are aware.

sarah everard

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

But a Norfolk police spokesman said: “We understand the strength of feeling and people’s desire to come together to mourn the death of Sarah Everard and make a statement on the issues of women’s safety.

"However, large gatherings are not currently permitted under the COVID-19 regulations to prevent the spread of the virus. Many people have made sacrifices during lockdown and we must take a consistent approach to policing the regulations and cannot wave the regulations for any one type of gathering.

"We will continue to follow the four E’s to engage, explain and encourage, using enforcement where there are breaches of the law."

Most Read

One vigil organiser, known only as Rosie, said the event was intended to highlight concerns over women's  safety.

"We’re all mindful of safety during the pandemic, and will be acting with the utmost respect for Covid guidelines, but Sarah’s murder has brought it home to many of us, that whatever we do, we’re not safe,” she said.

Another woman, Cissy, said: “Women should be able to walk home without fear of attack, but for most women this isn’t the case.  This vigil is to give us all the opportunity to pay our respects to a young woman who was killed while walking home”.  

Supporters are advised to attend wearing masks and observe social distancing.

Supporter Jo  said: “There is a great strength and depth of feelings and it’s important that the women of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk are able to peacefully pay their respects and remember the lives of women who have been murdered while doing nothing more than walking home."