"If I am running I won’t take the same route all the time" - Sheffield women speak out on safety after Sarah Everard's death

Sheffield women have spoken out on whether they feel safe walking on the city’s streets in the wake of the Sarah Everard murder and controversial police advice.

Wednesday, 6th October 2021, 4:00 pm
Tributes to Sarah Everard in Devonshire Green. A vigil to her memory was planned in the week after her death was formally cancelled after a warning from police about breaking coronavirus restrictions.

Met police officer Wayne Couzens was handed a whole life order last week for the kidnap, rape and murder of Sarah.

Subsequent advice from the Met police force which included saying women should ‘flag down a bus’ if they have concerns when stopped by a lone officer has been heavily criticised.

In Sheffield, specialist Natalie Shaw has been appointed to South Yorkshire Police to lead a drive to reduce violence against women and girls on the streets and in the home. Sheffield Heeley MP Louise Haigh has also called for a full investigation into the culture of policing.

Advice has been issued to women in South Yorkshire stopped by police officers in the wake of the Sarah Everard murder

Sheffield women spoke to Sheffield Telegraph this week about whether they feel safe in the city and what they think of the new appointment.

Katie Stewart, from Park Hill, said: “This appointment doesn’t make me feel safer, it doesn’t get to the heart of the problem. Police want to appear like they are doing something, its all about PR.

“I think that ideologically they don’t really believe in it, not all police but as a system. They don’t want to tackle misogyny and racism. The police are not for ordinary people.

"I don’t want the police to reassure me, they need to actually change. The criminal justice system needs to raise the conviction rate.”

Natalie Shaw has been appointed by South Yorkshire Police to tackle violence against women and girls

Amber Palloni, a student at Sheffield, said: “I have felt less safe since the Sarah Everard case, anyone would. I travel with friends now. There’s a lot of spiking happening, me and my friends have these bottle stops that we’ve bought. It’s ridiculous, we shouldn’t have to do it. You can’t trust anyone.

“When police are on patrol it should be one man and one woman.”

A woman who wanted to be known as Kathleen, from Halfway, said: “I wouldn’t say I feel unsafe, but if I am out running I won’t take the same route all the time in case someone was watching me.

"Why is the narrative on women not on and not on teaching men? Is consent taught in schools?

Floral tributes placed for Sarah Everard after her death

"I didn’t even know that you could question a police officer. I didn’t know you could call 999 on the police.

"The advice is ridiculous. It is putting the onus on women.”