Sarah Everard: One year on, are our streets safer for women?

Sarah Everard who was kidnapped, raped and murdered by Metropolitan Police officer Wayne Couzens

Sarah Everard was kidnapped, raped and murdered by serving Metropolitan Police officer Wayne Couzens - Credit: PA

One year ago today, Sarah Everard was kidnapped, raped and murdered by then-serving Met Police officer Wayne Couzens.

The 33-year-old marketing executive’s killing sparked conversations about women’s safety on our streets and fractured trust in London’s police force.

In a statement this morning (Thursday, March 3), Sarah’s family said: "It is a year since Sarah died and we remember her today, as every day, with all our love.

"Our lives have changed forever and we live with the sadness of our loss. Sarah was wonderful and we miss her all the time.

"Over the past year we have been overwhelmed with the kindness shown to us, not just by family and friends, but by the wider public.

"We are immensely grateful to everyone for their support, it has meant such a lot to us and has comforted us through this terrible time.

"Sadly, Sarah is not the only woman to have lost her life recently in violent circumstances and we would like to extend our deepest sympathy to other families who are also grieving."

The anniversary of Sarah’s murder has reignited conversations about women’s safety in public - and what has changed since.

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Last October, the Met announced new, permanent town centre teams of officers would be formed across London, particularly in areas where "women and girls often feel unsafe".

These include Barking, Ilford, Wood Green, Camden, Euston, Shoreditch, Wembley, Harlesden and Stratford.

The Met has also introduced a walk and talk programme, where members of the public can join female police officers on tours of an area, explaining where and why they feel unsafe.

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This was brought in across Barking and Dagenham, Redbridge and Havering in November.

A number of councils - including Barking and Dagenham, Hackney, Islington and Redbridge - have consulted residents on where and why they feel unsafe in the borough, including through similar walk and talk initiatives.

This feedback has been used to inform new measures - such as improved street lighting and more CCTV cameras - and council strategies.

Pubs, cafes, shops and businesses across London have also been urged to sign up as designated "safe havens".

These premises - identified on a register and marked with a sticker in the window - are offered as a refuge for people feeling threatened, harassed, unwell or vulnerable to seek help or respite.