Woman arrested on ground at Sarah Everard vigil 'not surprised' at how police treated her

14 March 2021, 13:01 | Updated: 15 March 2021, 23:37

Woman arrested on ground at Sarah Everard vigil 'not surprised' at how police treated her

Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

The woman who was pictured being arrested on the ground at the Sarah Everard vigil on Clapham Common has exclusively told LBC she "wasn't surprised" at how the police treated her.

A picture showing Patsy Stevenson being held to the floor and handcuffed by police officers was splashed across the front pages of several national newspapers on Sunday morning.

Ms Stevenson, who was fined £200 for breaching coronavirus regulations by attending the event, spoke exclusively to LBC's Tom Swarbrick for Swarbrick on Sunday.

Asked how she felt about being arrested, she said: "The weird thing was that I wasn't actually surprised, which doesn't say much about the police force, it's a shame.

"I didn't expect to be thrown to the ground and handcuffed."

Tom pressed the vigil-attendee on whether she had thrown objects, chanted at police or was responsible for scenes of people and officers being pushed.

Read more: Met Police chief urged to resign after handling of Sarah Everard vigil

Watch: 'The UK is not safe for women', Labour's Jess Phillips tells LBC

Patsy Stevenson was arrested on the ground at Clapham Common on Saturday evening
Patsy Stevenson was arrested on the ground at Clapham Common on Saturday evening. Picture: Global

"I can't speak for everyone who was there, but I didn't throw anything," she replied.

"The recollection of the night is a bit blurry so, as you can understand, it's been quite overwhelming. But I don't recollect anyone pushing people unless it was in retaliation."

Ms Stevenson said she was arrested for breaching coronavirus regulations after asking officers "several times" to tell her why she was being detained.

"We were there to remember Sarah. We all felt deeply saddened and still do," she told Tom.

She was let go roughly 20 minutes after being arrested, having been led to a police van and quizzed by officers.

Read more: Labour urges government to make misogyny a hate crime

Read more: Duchess of Cambridge pays respects to Sarah Everard memorial

Arrestee welcomes conversation with commissioner over Clapham vigil

Despite people offering to pay her £200 fine and her belief that she did nothing wrong, Ms Stevenson said she is unsure whether or not she will challenge it.

She then told Tom that she would like to sit down with Dame Cressida Dick and "have a conversation" about what happened on Clapham Common because "dialogue is very important in this case".

Ms Stevenson added that she does plan on attending future gatherings because "women don't feel safe and that's the bare minimum we should feel the freedom to do".

"I think the main point is trying to get something changed within the system to educate people on how we can make women feel safe and free to do what they want to do and live a normal life because there are so many things we're unable to do without fear."

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