Hundreds of protesters gather in London in wake of Sarah Everard's death

  • Video report by ITV News UK Editor Paul Brand

Hundreds gathered to protest for women's safety, days after clashes with police at a vigil to pay tribute to Sarah Everard.

Despite calls from Priti Patel not to gather in large numbers, protesters marched through central London on Monday.

Police detained dozens of campaigners in the evening after they gave them an ultimatum to go home or be arrested.

Meanwhile, the government has announced it will take steps to improve safety for women and girls in the streets, following a meeting of the Criminal Justice Taskforce, chaired by the Prime Minister.

Women's safety campaigners flooded Westminster and blocked traffic on Westminster Bridge on Monday:

This includes doubling the size of the Safer Streets fund - which provides neighbourhood measures such as better street lighting and CCTV - to £45million.

The government has also promised to work with police to ensure the fund is more focused on preventing sexual violence, targeting areas that may be more dangerous for women and girls.

This could mean targeting parks and alleyways, and routes from bars, restaurants and nightclubs.

  • Safeguarding Minister Victoria Atkins speaks about the new steps the government will take to improve women's safety:

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “The horrific case of Sarah Everard has unleashed a wave of feeling about women not feeling safe at night.

“We must do everything we can to ensure our streets are safe, and we are bringing in landmark legislation to toughen sentences and put more police on the streets.

“We are also now taking further steps to provide greater reassurance, such as providing better lighting and greater use of CCTV in parks and routes women may take on their walks home.

“Ultimately, we must drive out violence against women and girls and make every part of the criminal justice system work to better protect and defend them."

  • ITV News UK Editor Paul Brand comments on the government's latest efforts to improve women's safety

The government will also roll out a scheme where undercover police patrol areas around clubs and bars, and where there will be increased uniformed patrols when bars and nightclubs close.

Policing Minister Kit Malthouse will hold a meeting in the coming weeks with police and representatives of the night time industry to discuss how women can be protected when coronavirus restrictions lift.

Other steps agreed in the meeting include plans to consult on the government's intended Victims Law this summer and £11million for more Independent Sexual Violence Advisors to support victims through the criminal justice process.

The demonstration on Monday comes after shocking scenes on Saturday, when officers clashed with crowds gathered on Clapham Common to remember the 33-year-old marketing executive who went missing while walking home from a friend’s flat on March 3.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick is facing calls to resign over the force’s handling of the vigil on Saturday.

But Dame Cressida rejected those calls and said what happened to Ms Everard made her "more determined, not less" to lead the organisation.

Boris Johnson has also insisted he has "full confidence" in the Metropolitan Police Commissioner.

The prime minister, during an official visit to a bus depot in Coventry, acknowledged scenes at the vigil were "very distressing", after officers were accused of heavy handed conduct when managing the gathering.

The PM is speaking to Dame Cressida in a meeting of the government’s Crime and Justice Taskforce to discuss ways to protect women and girls from violence.

Asked whether he has "full confidence" in Dame Cressida, Mr Johnson said: "Yes, I do. And what she's asked is ... that we look at what happened on Saturday night."

Mr Johnson said he was "very concerned about the images" he saw.

"The police do have a very, very difficult job. But there's no question that the scenes that we saw were very distressing and so it is right that Tom Winsor, the inspector of constabulary, should do a full report into it.

"I think people have got to have confidence in the police and Tom's going to look at that."

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Priti Patel has asked the chief inspector of constabulary to conduct a “lessons learned” review into the police’s actions at the vigil.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Ms Patel reiterated the government "backs our police" but admitted "some of the footage circulating online of Clapham Common is upsetting".

Ms Patel added: "My heartache and that of others can be summed up in just five words - she was just walking home."

The prime minister said he was "deeply concerned" about the footage from the event, some of which showed police officers grabbing women and leading them away in handcuffs.

He added earlier on Monday: "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 into the policing of the event.

"(On Monday) I will chair a meeting of the Government’s Crime and Justice Taskforce to look at what further action we need to take to protect women and ensure our streets are safe.

“The death of Sarah Everard must unite us in determination to drive out violence against women and girls and make every part of the criminal justice system work to protect and defend them."

Dame Cressida was defended amid calls for her resignation, with the policing minister lauding her for a commitment to tackle violence against women.

When asked if she should resign, Kit Malthouse told ITV News: "No I don't."

He said: "Cressida Dick is an officer of long standing and significant skill and knowledge, who has a lot to contribute to the ongoing fight against violence to women and girls.

"That's what we're going to be talking about this afternoon when she attends a meeting with the prime minister, myself and the home secretary."

He added people should "recognise the context that the police are in a very difficult position standing between us and a virus".

Shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds criticised the Government for responding with “yet more meetings and another consultation” at a moment when the country is “demanding action to tackle violence against women and girls”.

MP Jess Phillips discusses the Sarah Everard case and what can be done to stop violence against women - listen to the ITV News Politics Podcast: