15 March 2021
Policing Standards Criticised by Greens
Councillor Martin Schmierer, who represents the city centre area of Norwich has spoken out against violence against women in all its forms.
Councillor Schmierer said:
“I was horrified, over the weekend, when I saw images of police officers restraining women at Clapham Common. For these protestors to be restrained like that, as they gathered to highlight the consequences of violence against women is utterly shocking, and for them to be manhandled by members of the police force while they were remembering the tragedy of the murder of a young woman, possibly committed by a serving police officer, is incomprehensible.
“I expect much higher standards of policing and would have expected the officer who oversaw a shambles like we saw at the weekend to have put their resignation on the table by 5pm. I’ve been on many demonstrations in my time, from marches against the Iraq War and against nuclear weapons to anti-racism protests, and I’ve generally seen the police act with sense and restraint. However, the scenes that played out the other night erode people’s trust in the police’s conduct and willingness to uphold those fundamental freedoms we in Britain take for granted. One of those freedoms is the right to protest, and I am deeply concerned that the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts bill, which is currently being brought forward by the government, will further erode these rights.
“We all need to take responsibility for what we want to see on the streets around us. Men, as well as women, need to speak up if we see any behaviour that we can’t condone. Women should not consider it normal to be insulted or followed on their way home, so misogyny needs to become a hate crime as soon as possible in order to send the message that it is not acceptable for anyone to show any less respect to a woman than to a man.
“I expect people to have the right to protest in this country, I also expect the police to treat all of us with empathy and respect and most importantly, I expect women to be able to walk home safely, at any time of day without needing to worry about being attacked or harassed.”
Further information from
Councillor Martin Schmierer firstname.lastname@example.org