Undercover and plainclothes police officers are to patrol British nightclubs, an effort made by the English government to protect women from predatory offenders. The change comes as part of a series of measures announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson after the recent murder of 33 year-old London Sarah Everard.
Through a program named Project Vigilant, undercover officers will be present in-and-around clubs and bars, particularly around a venue’s closing time. Additional measures introduced include an increase in funds to provide English and Welsh neighborhoods with better lighting and CCTV technology.
Critics to the new program, however, suggest that it may be targeting the nightclubbing industry as a scapegoat for a much bigger problem, as Labour MP Stella Creasy notes on BBC Radio 4,
“Sarah Everard was not on a night out, so the idea that putting plainclothes police officers in nightclubs is going to solve this problem doesn’t recognize that women get abused, assaulted, intimidated in all sorts of places. Ask women who’ve gone for a run recently in broad daylight in their parks about their experiences and you’ll realize some of the scale of the challenge. And what strikes me is that 80% of women report being sexually harassed in public spaces but, in those surveys, 90% of them say they never report it because they don’t believe anything will change.”
For more information regarding Sarah Everard’s case, visit AP News.
Featured image: Sarah Ginn
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