Police issue fines in Liverpool after people gather to hold vigil in memory of Sarah Everard

A woman lights a candle in Birmingham after the Reclaim These Streets vigil for Sarah Everard was officially cancelled.
A Vigil held in Birmingham in memory of Sarah Everard. Credit: PA

Merseyside Police say three people have been fined following a vigil in Liverpool in memory of Sarah Everard.

Events had been moved online due to Covid-19 safety fears but up to 40 people turned out to St Lukes Church to hold a minute's silence on the steps.

Officers said the group then left, a short time later a second group refused to engage with police and were handed fixed penalty notices.

DCC Kennedy went on to say: "I would like to thank those people who attended at St.Luke’s Church last night and engaged with officers who were in attendance to ensure public safety.“As I said yesterday when the organised vigil was cancelled by the organiser, following on-going discussions between them and ourselves, we completely understand, that following the murder of Sarah Everard, people across the UK wanted to hold the event in Sarah’s memory, whilst at the same time recognising the dangers faced by women."Sadly, with the ongoing Covid situation we must all do what we can to prevent the spread of the virus and that includes not meeting in large groups."I can confirm that approximately 30-40 people attended at St Luke's Church on Leece Street last night to take part in a minute silence in respect of Sarah Everard, who was murdered after leaving a friend's house in Clapham.

Sarah Everard

DCC Kennedy, concluded: "I would like to reiterate my thanks to the organisers of the original event for their understanding and co-operation. I would also like to thank those who attended the minute silence last night for listening to our officers and abiding by the restrictions in place, whilst they carried out their one minute silence for Sarah Everard."

The vigils took place across the country, despite organisers saying they would be held online instead.

On Friday, a High Court judge refused to intervene in the case, after police banned a similar event planned in South London, where Sarah was last seen. 

Organisers in Manchester had said if the ruling went against them, the vigil would be held online instead. 

The vigils come in the wake of the suspected kidnap and murder of Sarah Everard who had been missing since 3 March and was last seen walking home from a friend's house near Clapham Common in south London.

Women in the North West say Ms Everard's disappearance has put the issue of violence and safety in the spotlight once again, and has resonated with thousands.

Daisy Whitehouse, from Right to Walk Manchester, says: "It's not being able to walk to the train station after the pub on your own.

"It's having to ring someone to talk to them while you're in a cab, it's that thing that was in all the papers of clutching a key in your hand so you can protect yourself."