Police release statement on Sarah Everard vigil planned in Sheffield tonight

Police have urged people to ‘make their voices heard in a safe and Covid-compliant way’ in Sheffield following the death of Sarah Everard.

Saturday, 13th March 2021, 10:51 am

Anyone attending a vigil planned for 6pm tonight on Devonshire Green could be fined £200, with the organisers facing a £10,000 fine should the event go ahead, police said.

Vigils around the country had been organised in the wake of Ms Everard’s disappearance, which prompted public debate about women's safety.

Assistant chief constable Tim Forber said: “We are acutely aware of the groundswell of concern in relation to some of the matters this protest aims to address. Sarah Everard’s kidnap and murder has shocked us all, and we understand the need to come together at this difficult time.

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Sarah Everard, aged 33, who went missing on March 3. Her remains were discovered in Kent woodland on Wednesday.

“However, we must remind those who may be planning to attend a gathering this weekend that Covid-19 is still very much present in our communities. We urge you to make your voices heard in a safe and COVID compliant way, be that virtually or in another way.”

Ms Everard, a 33-year-old marketing executive from York, went missing in south London after leaving a friend’s flat on the evening of March 3.

Her remains were discovered in Kent woodland on Wednesday.

A serving Metropolitan Police officer – 48-year-old Wayne Couzens – appeared before Westminster Magistrates’ Court this morning charged with her kidnap and murder.

Vigils were organised around the country following Ms Everard's disappearance, including in Sheffield.

Assistant chief constable Forber added: “Anyone attending a gathering in South Yorkshire will be in breach of current COVID-19 regulations and will be liable to be issued with a fixed penalty notice. Anyone identified as an organiser of an event will be issued with a £10,000 fine.

“We are still suffering the effects of a global pandemic and restrictions remain in place to protect our communities. We understand that this will be disappointing for many, but we must continue to stay at home and stay safe”

A spokesperson for Reclaim Sheffield Streets said they will be releasing a statement shortly.

They told The Star: “We want to do something that’s safe and that people are comfortable and happy with.

"We don’t want to risk people being fined.”