16:09 GMT19 April 2021
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    LONDON (Sputnik) - UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will meet with law enforcement representatives on Monday to discuss steps to protect women and girls in the wake of the murder of Sarah Everard.

    "Tomorrow I will chair a meeting of the Government’s Crime and Justice Taskforce to look at what further action we need to take to protect women and ensure our streets are safe," Johnson said on Sunday, quoted in a Downing Street release.

    Johnson said he had spoken with the Metropolitan Police commissioner, Cressida Dick, and Home Secretary Priti Patel. The Monday meeting will be attended by British ministers, senior police officers and representatives from the Crown Prosecution Service.

    "The death of Sarah Everard must unite us in determination to drive out violence against women and girls and make every part of the criminal justice system work to protect and defend them," the prime minister said.

    Everard, a 33-year-old marketing executive, disappeared on the evening of March 3. Her body was found hidden in a builder's bag in a woodland area in Ashford, Kent on Wednesday.

    Metropolitan Police officer Wayne Couzens, 48, was charged with the kidnapping and murder of the woman. He appeared in court on Saturday morning.

    Later on Saturday, a vigil was held in London to commemorate Everard and to call for changes that will keep other women safe. Police refused to issue a permit for the vigil and officers told the crowd to disperse, threatening those present with arrest for refusing to comply, although the gathering was peaceful and attendees followed COVID-19 safety guidelines.

    Violent confrontations later broke out as police refused to back down. At least one woman was handcuffed and detained. Patel and London Mayor Sadiq Khan both said that they were waiting for an explanation from the Metropolitan Police.


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