Woman who was pinned to ground as she was arrested at Sarah Everard vigil reveals ‘about 50’ police officers have contacted her on Tinder and left her ‘terrified’
- Patsy Stevenson, 28, was photographed masked and pinned to the ground
- She said afterwards 50 uniformed officers tried to approach her on dating app
- She has Tinder Gold so could see who had ‘liked’ her profile without matching
The woman whose arrest at the Sarah Everard vigil went viral says she was then ‘liked’ by 50 uniformed police officers on dating app Tinder in an ‘intimidation’ tactic.
Patsy Stevenson, 28, was photographed masked and pinned to the ground as she was detained by police at the memorial on March 13.
The harrowing image went viral and helped fan the flames on the suggestion the Met did not care about women and their rights.
Now Ms Stevenson has disclosed scores of male offices approached her on the app following the vigil on Clapham Common in south London.
Because she has the Tinder Gold upgraded version of the software she could see who had ‘liked’ her profile without her ‘liking’ them.
She said: ‘They were all in uniform on their profiles or it said “I’m a police officer”. I do not understand why someone would do that.
‘It is almost like an intimidation thing, saying “look we can see you”, and that, to me, is terrifying.
Patsy Stevenson, who went viral after she was pictured being held on the ground by officers,
Ms Stevenson, who is a Physics student at Royal Holloway, University of London, said she had been liked by 50 police officers in uniform on Tnder in the aftermath of the vigil
‘They know what I went through and they know that I’m fearful of police and they’ve done that for a reason,’ she added in an interview to BBC London.
A spokesman for the Met said they had not yet had a complaint about the allegations.
He added: ‘We have contacted the individual who has spoken about these concerns to offer our support and make enquiries. At this time we have not received complaints in relation to this incident, but we will to continue to liaise with them about the circumstances so we can establish whether any misconduct may have occurred, and determine the appropriate next steps.
‘Officers must abide by our high standards of professional behaviour both on and off duty. If someone believes that an officer’s conduct or behaviour on any social media or internet platform falls below these standards we would urge them to please contact us so that it can be properly investigated and appropriate action taken.’
The vigil created a crisis in policing after images from the memorial suggested officers may have been heavy-handed.
It was held during of the UK’s many coronavirus lockdowns and was illegal under the regulations at the time.
Thousands of women wanting to pay their respects to Miss Everard turned up at the park
Well-wishers light candles around a tree in honour of Sarah Everard on Clapham Common, south London on March 13
There has been condemnation of the policing of the vigil, with Home Secretary Priti Patel seeking a full report on events
But thousands of women wanting to pay their respects to Miss Everard turned up at the park.
Police were seen grabbing several women, leading them away in handcuffs and the force later said four people were arrested for public order and coronavirus regulation breaches
It sparked n condemnation of the policing of the vigil, with Home Secretary Priti Patel seeking a full report on events.
She described footage from the evening as ‘upsetting’, while Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey called on Commissioner Cressida Dick to ‘consider’ her leadership of the force.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said the scenes were ‘unacceptable’, tweeting: ‘The police have a responsibility to enforce Covid laws but from images I’ve seen it’s clear the response was at times neither appropriate nor proportionate.’
In the early hours of Sunday, Assistant Commissioner Helen Ball said police were put into a position ‘where enforcement action was necessary’.
She said: ‘Hundreds of people were packed tightly together, posing a very real risk of easily transmitting Covid-19.
‘Police must act for people’s safety, this is the only responsible thing to do. The pandemic is not over and gatherings of people from right across London and beyond, are still not safe.
‘Those who gathered were spoken to by officers on a number of occasions and over an extended period of time. We repeatedly encouraged those who were there to comply with the law and leave. Regrettably, a small minority of people began chanting at officers, pushing and throwing items.’
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