Wayne Couzens, 48, appeared in Westminster Magistrates Court on Saturday for his first hearing. He has been remanded in custody and will then appear in Old Bailey Court in London on March 16, according to Met Police.
Everard disappeared on March 3 while walking through Clapham, south London, prompting an extensive police search in the area.
Her remains were finally found more than 50 miles from where she was last seen. A post-mortem examination will now be made of Everard’s remains.
Couzens, a police officer whose “primary role was the uniform patrol task of diplomatic premises,” was arrested Tuesday in Kent. He was charged Friday, according to a statement from Rosemary Ainslie, head of the CPS special crime.
Many also exchanged notes about the usual precautions they take to try to stay safe when walking alone (such as grabbing keys between their knuckles, pretending to talk to someone on the phone, or not wearing headphones at night) and expressed anger and frustration that feels like a necessary step.
Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, remembers what it felt like to walk around London the night before she got married, a royal source said. The Duchess paid a private visit to the Everard Memorial in Clapham on Saturday, the source said. He wanted to pay his respects to Everard and his family.
Couzens joined the Met in September 2018 and was assigned to a response team covering the Bromley area in south-east London. He then moved to the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command in February 2020, where his “main role was in the uniform patrol duties of diplomatic premises, mainly a wide range of embassies,” according to the Met statement.
Nick Ephgrave, deputy commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, said on Friday that he understood that “women in London and the general public, particularly those in the area where Sarah disappeared, will be worried and may feel frightened”, and that Londoners could expect to see an increase in officers on the streets in the coming days.
“I know the audience feels hurt and angry about what happened. And those are feelings I share personally, and I also know my colleagues here in Scotland Yard and across the Met,” Ephgrave said.
“Recover the streets”
On Saturday, a series of vigils were planned across the country, but the “Reclaim These Streets” events were canceled after London police said Clapham’s vigil could not go ahead, citing coronavirus restrictions. as reported on Saturday by organizers.
A large crowd of bad guys gathered for hours on Saturday evening anyway at a makeshift memorial in Clapham, where Everard was last seen.
The crowd kept a moment of silence. Some placed flowers and candles and sang, “Remember Sarah Everard” and “the united sisters will never be defeated.”
When police began urging people to disperse due to Covid-19 restrictions, one could hear the bad guys chanting “shame” and “arresting yours.”
Organizers told CNN that police and local officials allowed another vigil to be held Saturday evening to commemorate Everard and other women who have been killed by men. This was held at Brixton, where Everard lived, but most of the people stayed at the largest meeting in Clapham.
Organizers of “Reclaim These Streets” stated that they will raise £ 32,000 (approximately US $ 44,544) for women’s causes, which would also cover £ 10,000 (around US $ 13,920) of possible fines for the 32 scheduled vigils around the country.
On Saturday, Greater Manchester (GMP) police said they supported a planned vigil in Manchester, saying in a statement that “women should never live in fear or change their behavior to stay safe on our streets and in the stands of GMP with this message and understand why events were planned to support it. “
“We understand that there are a number of events online, as well as a vigil at the door that have been organized for the night and GMP supports and encourages our communities to join; stay together on this important issue in a Covid – safely and in accordance with government regulations as it currently stands, ”he said.
Feeling insecure in public places
More than 70% of women surveyed by UN Women in the UK said they had experienced sexual harassment in public spaces. That figure rose to 97 percent among women ages 18 to 24, the survey showed. The data, released on Wednesday, has been extracted from a YouGov survey of more than 1,000 women commissioned by UN Women UK in January 2021.
Surveys of the organization also suggested that women have little confidence in public institutions to deal with the situation.
“Only 4% of women told us they reported incidents of harassment to an official organization; 45% of women said they didn’t think reporting would help change anything,” UN Women UK said.
Women are not alone in feeling threatened on the street; men are more likely to be victims of violent crimes involving strangers and acquaintances than women, according to the annual survey on crimes in England and Wales, published by the UK’s National Bureau of Statistics (ONS).
But government data show that men are much more likely to be prosecuted for acts of violence against women and men. During the three-year period ending March 2020, the vast majority of suspects convicted of homicide were men, 93 percent of the total, according to an ONS homicide report.
CNN’s Amy Cassidy, Flo Davey-Attlee and Zahid Mahmood contributed to this report.
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