Campaign group Reclaim These Streets 'loses confidence in Met Commissioner Cressida Dick'

A woman holding a Reclaim the Streets placard out of the passenger window drives past New Scotland Yard in London, the day after clashes between police and crowds who gathered on Clapham Common on Saturday night to remember Sarah Everard. The Metropolitan Police has faced intense criticism for its handling of the vigil, with officers accused of "grabbing and manhandling" women during clashes with the crowd. Picture date: Sunday March 14, 2021.

Campaign group 'Reclaim These Streets', which originally organised Saturday’s vigil on Clapham Common, said it has “lost our confidence” in Dame Cressida Dick, following a meeting today.

In a statement on Twitter, the group said on Monday it was invited to meet with Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, deputy mayor for policing Sophie Linden and London victims’ commissioner Claire Waxman, and later with Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida.

Reclaim These Streets said: “Despite this issue being top of the news agenda and our flexibility with timings, she provided us just 15 minutes of her time to discuss both the right to protest and women’s safety.

“We pressed the commissioner for a clear answer on what an acceptable form of a vigil would be under the legislation, and she refused to provide an answer.”

Campaign group Reclaim These Streets said it was “considering our legal options” following the process.

It continued: “We asked Commissioner Dick to waive the fines of women who attended the vigil at Clapham Common on Saturday, but she flat out refused, even though it was her force’s decisions that forced women into this position.

“We believe we have given Commissioner Dick and the Metropolitan Police more than enough opportunities to demonstrate that they are committed to policing by consent and allowing people to use their rights.

“She has lost our confidence in her ability to lead the urgent changes needed to tackle institutional misogyny and racism in the Metropolitan Police, and she has clearly lost the confidence of London’s women too, and we urge her to consider her position.”

The group has also asked Mr Khan for meaningful funding behind the Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy, a ring-fenced fund for specialist domestic and sexual violence organisations, for the mayor to back calls to criminalise street harassment and demand Dame Cressida commit to training every Met Police officer on misogyny, sexism and anti-racism.