Today my thoughts are with Sarah’s family. No sentence will be sufficient to recognise the pain of having your daughter or sister so cruelly taken, and I cannot imagine the scale of pain her family are going through today, but trust that in time, there can be healing. Today, Sarah’s city of York stands with the Everard family.
From this point, there must be a start of a new approach to the safety of women and girls. No woman should fear walking in their community, yet following the murders of Sarah and now Sabina Nessa, police and all agencies have an urgent duty to ensure that immediate investment is made to ensure that streets are safe, people are patrolling our communities and those with a history of offending remain at the centre of the police radar, not filed away.
In the longer term, every part of community planning must ensure that the safety of women and girls must pass an essential test. Planning, whether new development or reviewing the current community, cannot be left just to local authorities, but must take a multi-agency approach so that it is first of all safe. Investment in community policing is important to not only ensure that women and girls are safe, but also that people with a history of perpetrating crime against women and girls are properly supported. Finally, today I call for proper support for women and girls who have experienced any trauma, be it physical, sexual, or psychological. The lack of services available to respond to the trauma that so many survivors have experienced is completely unacceptable, so a new commitment to ensure that there are enough trauma specialists are trained and available is vital.