James O'Brien 10am - 1pm
Sarah Everard: Police officer arrested on suspicion of murder
10 March 2021, 15:21 | Updated: 10 March 2021, 16:16
A police officer arrested following the disappearance of Sarah Everard is being held on suspicion of murder, Scotland Yard said.
The man, in his 40s, was first arrested on the evening of Tuesday, 9 March on suspicion of kidnap.
Police said today that he has been further arrested on suspicion of murder and a separate allegation of indecent exposure.
Marketing executive Ms Everard, 33, from London, went missing after leaving a friend's house in Clapham at about 9pm on March 3. She has not yet been found and her family is being kept updated with developments, the force said.
Scotland Yard confirmed the man arrested is a serving Metropolitan Police officer in the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command who worked as a uniformed patrol officer at diplomatic premises.
The Metropolitan Police confirmed the matter has been referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct.
Officers are carrying out searches of locations in London and in Kent, including a property in Deal and an area of woodland near Ashford.
The officer was not on duty at the time she vanished.
Speaking to journalists outside Scotland Yard on Wednesday morning, Assistant Commissioner Nick Ephgrave said: "The fact that the man who has been arrested is a serving Metropolitan Police officer is both shocking and deeply disturbing."
He told reporters that detectives are working "at all speed" to find out what has happened to Ms Everard, and repeated appeals for members of the public to come forward with information.
Turning to the 33-year-old's family, who along with her friends have issued desperate appeals for help via social media, he said: "As a father myself, of four young women, I can only imagine the anguish that Sarah's family are feeling at this very very difficult time."
Ms Everard is thought to have walked through Clapham Common towards her house in Brixton - a journey which should have taken around 50 minutes.
She was last captured on a doorbell camera walking along the A205 Poynders Road towards Tulse Hill at around 9.30pm on March 3.
Police searches in Kent saw a tent erected at the front of a house in Freemens Way in Deal, where multiple cars were taken away by investigators. Later, a metal fence was put up surrounding the front garden and driveway.
A neighbour said a police officer lives at the address with his "chatty" wife and two children.
She said: "They just seemed like a normal, regular family, there was nothing strange about them at all."
She added that police were digging up the garden.
Matt Mullan, 29, who also lives nearby, said: "Last night there were police cars outside all night.
"I thought this is a bit strange, not normal for round here.
"It was about 8-9pm there was heavy traffic out there and there have been police cars outside all morning.
"It's very surprising, definitely not what you expect to see."
Another said: "You don't expect it to be on your doorstep, really.
"You see this sort of thing every day on the TV and the news but you don't expect it."
Downing Street said Prime Minister Boris Johnson's thoughts are with Ms Everard and her friends and family.
His official spokesman told journalists at a Westminster briefing: "As investigations are ongoing on this case I can't comment.
"But the Prime Minister's thoughts are with Sarah and her friends and family."