An open letter called on a police boss to resign over comments “blaming the victim” he made about the murder of Sarah Everard.
The letter, on behalf of Stand Up to Domestic Abuse, condemned North Yorkshire Police Tory Commissioner of Crime, Philip Allot, after suggesting women should be more informed about why they can be arrested.
In his remarks, widely criticized, he said that Sarah Everard should never have submitted to the arrest of the police officer to snatch her. The former police officer who kidnapped Ms Everard from a busy London street in March has been sentenced to life imprisonment.
Signatories to the letter include Rachel Williams, who founded Stand Up to Domestic Abuse after being seriously shot and injured by her abusive partner in 2011, Arfon Jones, the former North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner , and actor Michael Sheen.
He was sent to the North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Panel, which he urged to take action on the matter.
The letter reads: “We are writing this open letter to you as professionals involved in representing and protecting women and girls who are or are likely to be subject to male violence here in Wales and England.
“We were appalled to read Mr. Philip Allott’s sexist comments about Sarah Everard following Wayne Couzens’ conviction for his murder.
Mr. Allott’s comments on ‘victim blame’ came from a bygone era and grossly inappropriate language from an elected Police and Crime Commissioner appointed by the Department of ‘Interior and the Ministry of Justice to lead and advance the work and implement the Code of Conduct for Victims.
“While Mr. Allot apologized, it was too little too late and immense damage had been done. In short, we believe Mr. Allott’s comments have brought the Bureau of Police and Crime into disrepute and that he should resign.
“We therefore ask that the North Yorkshire Police and Crime Panel consider this letter as a formal complaint and we ask you to take appropriate action. This letter was shared with the Independent Police Conduct Office.
Allott was speaking on BBC Radio York when he said that “women need to know that this is not a criminal act – an offense considered serious enough to warrant jail time or a court hearing. Crown court.
“So women, first of all, need to know when they can be arrested and when they can’t. She should never have been arrested and subjected to this, ”he said.
“Maybe women need to think in terms of the legal process, to learn a little more about this legal process.”
After the furious outcry on social media, he tweeted: “I would like to apologize wholeheartedly for my comments on BBC York radio earlier today, which I realize were callous and wish withdraw them entirely. “
The other signatories of the letter are:
- Harriet Wistrich – Founder of the Center of Womens Justice, lawyer, winner of Liberty Human Rights Lawyer of the Year 2014, Legal Aid Lawyer of the year 2018 and personality of the year 2019 in the Law Society Gazette. cases involving violence against women, including on behalf of women who challenged the police and the parole board in the John
- Michael Sheen – Actor and Sponsor of SUTDA
- Prof Jane Monckton Smith – Professor of Public Protection at the University of Gloucestershire. Homicide
- David Challen – Campaigner Against Domestic Violence, Ambassador for Prison Counseling
- France Beecher – CEO of Llamau
- Julie Bindel – Author, journalist, host and researcher
- Nicola Sharp-Jeffs – Founder and CEO of SEA (Surviving Economic Abuse)
- Michelle Whelan – CEO CalanDVS
- Shona Priddey – Criminologist and Justice of the Peace
- Mark Hegarty – Founder of WCID (What can I do?)
- Clare Walker – Founder of Clare Walker Consulting LTD (Domestic Violence Consultant)
- Maria Gallagher – Director of the Feminist Law Society
- Cathy Press – Founder and CEO of Escape the Trap, Awareness Matters, who’s in charge?