The shocking attack, abduction and murder of Sarah Everard has rightly led to a national demand for action to be taken towards ending violence against women. On Saturday, people wanted to gather peacefully on Clapham Common in order to mourn the loss of a woman who was killed whilst simply walking home. The actions taken by the Metropolitan Police over the weekend were completely unjust, beyond excessive, disproportionate and miscalculated.
In the 296 pages of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill the word ‘woman’ is not mentioned at all. This Bill is a vain and transparent attempt by the Tories to drive ‘culture war’ issues to try and spread division throughout the UK, focusing more on statues than women’s security. The Bill as it stands could lead to offenders being handed a tougher sentence for defacing a statue than they could for attacking a woman, which is simply unacceptable.
At such a crucial time, the Government should pause this poor legislation, which does not include any needed protections for women’s safety or the shift to ensure crimes against women are better tackled as acts of misogyny. I will be voting against the Bill tomorrow and I will continue to pressure the Government on reforming the criminal justice system and policing to better protect all women, given the current dire situation where prosecutions for rape stand at a disgustingly pitiful 1%.