A campaigner whose photograph during her arrest became the defining image of the vigil for Sarah Everard has said she felt afraid after about 50 police officers and security guards then “liked” her profile on the Tinder dating app.
Patsy Stevenson, 28, says she viewed the approaches as intimidatory by officers who knew she was fearful of the police after being bundled to the ground.
Die Metropolitaanse polisie say they are making inquiries, want to offer support to Stevenson and will consider if any officers may have committed misconduct. It comes with the Met in crisis after the sentencing last week of Wayne Couzens to a whole life sentence when details of the extent of his crimes emerged.
Last March, Couzens, then a Met officer, abused his police powers, equipment and training, to trick Everard into getting into a car, where handcuffed she was driven away to be raped, murdered and her body burned as he tried to hide his crimes.
Over a week later, after Couzens had been charged with the murder, a scheduled vigil on Clapham Common, suid Londen, close to where Everard was kidnapped, was cancelled because of pandemic lockdown restrictions. But a crowd, comprised largely of women, still gathered to pay their respects to Everard and protest over male violence against women.
Stevenson was handcuffed and later fined. She is suing the Met over her treatment. She told the BBC oor 50 police officers and security guards had liked her profile on Tinder: “They were all in uniform on their profiles or it said ‘I’m a police officer’.
“It is almost like an intimidation thing, sê, ‘Look we can see you’, and that, aan my, is terrifying.
“They know what I went through and they know that I’m fearful of police and they’ve done that for a reason.”
Die Met het gesê: “We have contacted the individual who has spoken about these concerns to offer our support and make enquiries. At this time we have not received complaints in relation to this incident, but we will to continue to liaise with them about the circumstances so we can establish whether any misconduct may have occurred, and determine the appropriate next steps.
“Officers must abide by our high standards of professional behaviour both on and off duty. If someone believes that an officer’s conduct or behaviour on any social media or internet platform falls below these standards we would urge them to please contact us so that it can be properly investigated and appropriate action taken.”