Plain-clothes police to video call uniformed officer when stopping lone women

Published date20 October 2021
Publication titleMyLondon (England)
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick told members of the London Assembly Police and Crime Committee that the new system will be introduced following the murder of Sarah Everard by a serving officer who staged a fake arrest in order to kidnap her.

The force was heavily criticised after suggesting that women who are concerned they are not being stopped legitimately should try to flag down a passing bus or run to a nearby house.

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When asked whether the advice had been reviewed, Dame Cressida told the committee: “I completely understand why that ended up as the headline. It was not intended, and it is not how we see things. Yes we have reviewed it and I think we would address the question differently were it to come again in the future.

"What I can say today is that we are launching our Safe Connection, as we call it, which allows a woman who is stopped by such a police officer immediately to have verification that this is a police officer.

“Because my plain-clothes officers will call into a control room, they will then have a video call with a sergeant in uniform who will say ‘yes that’s so-and-so, he’s PC XYZ’. So a quick and easy way which is instigated by the officer, not by the woman having to ask for this.”

Wiltshire Police have already announced a similar scheme whereby officers will put their personal radio on loudspeaker and ask their control room to confirm their identity.

Dame Cressida stressed that the onus should be on the police officer to properly identify themselves, and that the bus advice given was “if...

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