Sarah Everard: Candles to be lit at Barking town hall tomorrow

Undated handout issued by the Metropolitan Police showing missing woman Sarah Everard, 33, who left

Sarah Everard, 33, disappeared while walking home in south London on March 3. Her body was found in Kent woodlands on March 10. - Credit: PA

The town hall has announced it will light candles in memory of Sarah Everard tomorrow (Saturday, March 13) as an alternative to the Reclaim These Streets event.

Barking and Dagenham Council is asking people from the borough not to attend a planned vigil for Sarah Everard in Clapham Common, due to concerns about the spread of Covid-19.

People are invited to instead show their support by leaving a candle on the steps of the Barking Town Hall. The candles will be lit or turned on at 6pm tomorrow (Saturday).

Anyone who doesn’t live nearby is asked to light a candle at home to show their solidarity and share a photo on social media via the council’s or leader Darren Rodwell’s pages.

A council statement said: “We are aware from social media reports that many women and girls from the borough will want to join the planned vigil at Clapham Common.

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“However, we also understand that the Covid-19 pandemic means that this event, despite best efforts, could pose a risk to the virus spreading.”  

The murder of Sarah Everard has shone a light on the epidemic of girls and women feeling unsafe and being subjected to harassment and violence on the streets of London, including in Barking and Dagenham. 

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Deputy leader of the council Cllr Saima Ashraf, who is cabinet member for community leadership and engagement, said: “We stand in solidarity with every woman and girl who has shared their experience and expressed concern about feeling unsafe. 

“We know that many more will have experienced fear, harassment, and assault and chosen not to share their experiences. 

“We will never stop in the battle to eliminate violence against women and girls.” 

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