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British PM Johnson has ‘full confidence’ in police chief after handling of London vigil

Published: (Updated: ) in European News by .

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick faces scrutiny for officers’ response to the vigil for Sarah Everard.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has “full confidence” in Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick amid criticism over officers’ treatment of participants at a London vigil Saturday, according to a senior No. 10 insider.

Dick has faced scrutiny for the way officers forcibly removed and handcuffed women at the vigil in Clapham Common, which was organized for Sarah Everard, whom investigators believe was kidnapped and murdered by a police officer. Home Secretary Priti Patel has called for a “full report” into the police response Saturday.

The senior No. 10 insider said Johnson backs Dick to stay in her job, as he prepares for a meeting Monday with ministers, senior police officers and representatives from the Crown Prosecution Service to discuss further steps to protect women and girls.

“Like everyone who saw it I was deeply concerned about the footage from Clapham Common on Saturday night,” Johnson said in a statement ahead of Monday’s meeting.

“I have spoken with the Metropolitan Police Commissioner who has committed to reviewing how this was handled and the Home Secretary has also commissioned HM Inspectorate of Constabulary to conduct a lessons learned review in to the policing of the event.”

A vigil was originally organized by the campaign group Reclaim These Streets but was later canceled due to police warnings over coronavirus restrictions. But several hundred people gathered on Clapham Common on Saturday to pay tribute to Everard, including Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge.

The Metropolitan Police said four arrests were made at the vigil to “protect people’s safety.”

Dick on Sunday defended officers’ policing of the vigil: “I feel for my officers. They are policing during a pandemic. I don’t think anybody should be sitting back in an armchair saying what they would do differently.”

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She also said she would have attended the vigil herself “if it had been lawful.”

Source: POLITICO https://www.politico.eu/article/boris-johnson-has-full-confidence-in-police-chief-after-handling-of-london-vigil/?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=RSS_Syndication

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