Activism

Women march on Scotland Yard to protest police misogyny

The march marks the second anniversary of the murders of sisters Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman

met march

Protesters have condemned the Met's inaction over the murders of Nicole Henry and Bibaa Smallman. Image: Family handout

A group of women are marching ten miles to New Scotland Yard to protest misogyny and racism within the Met.

The march marks the anniversary of the murders of Nicole Smallman and Bibaa Henry, with protesters carrying a clock to represent the time police failed to take action.

Organised by the Women’s Equality Party, it will culminate in a rally outside New Scotland Yard at 7pm.

Leader of the Women’s Equality Party, Mandu Reid, said: “We are carrying this clock for ten miles to remind everyone that in the sixteen hours after Nicole and Bibaa’s friends and family called the police, no one came to help.

“And that in the two years since they were murdered, nothing has changed. We are calling time on misogyny and racism in policing.”

The sisters were murdered in Fryent Park in June 2020, with the Met subsequently apologising for not progressing inquiries. Their bodies were found by Smallman’s boyfriend.

Two police officers were jailed last year for taking pictures of their bodies at the crime scene and sharing them on WhatsApp.

Met PCs Deniz Jaffer and Jamie Lewis were jailed for 33 months each and condemned by a judge for their “appalling and inexplicable conduct”.

Reid added: “Bibaa and Nicole were failed at every turn by the police, from the call handler who assumed one of the sisters was a suspect to the police officers who took and shared pictures of their dead bodies.

“No one can consent to this kind of policing, so our only option is to completely overhaul it.”

A report by the Independent Office for Police conduct found a call handler referred to a missing person as a “suspect”, and “appeared dismissive” during a call with a friend of one of the sisters.

The report called the level of service given to the family and friends of the sisters over the weekend following their disappearance “unacceptable.”

The Met was last week refused permission to appeal a ruling which found it acted unlawfully in trying to ban a vigil for Sarah Everard planned by Reclaim These Streets.

Jamie Klingler, a founder of Reclaim These Streets, said she was marching on the Met today in anger at an “epidemic of violence against women.”

Klingler said: “Violence against women will never be funny. And we are marching because violence against Black women barely even makes the news.

“There is an epidemic of violence against women and it is exacerbated and played out within the Metropolitan police force.”

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