Plans To Have Plain-Clothes Police Patrolling Bars To Crackdown On Sexual Assault Cause Outrage

by : Cameron Frew on : 16 Mar 2021 08:30
Plans To Have Plain-Clothes Police Patrolling Bars To Crackdown On Sexual Assault Cause OutragePA Images

Government plans to have undercover police officers patrol bars to curb sexual assaults have been met with outrage following the death of Sarah Everard and the excessive force shown by police at her vigil. 

It comes as part of a wave of efforts aimed at taking ‘immediate steps to provide further reassurance’ to all women following a meeting of the crime and justice taskforce.


Prime Minister Boris Johnson also said, ‘The horrific case of Sarah Everard has unleashed a wave of feeling about women not feeling safe at night. We must do everything we can to ensure our streets are safe.’

Developed by Thames Valley Police, the nationwide pilot of Project Vigilant would see a mixture of uniformed and plain-clothed officers conducting patrols of bars and nightclubs, with extra attention given to late at night at closing time.

As per The Independent, a statement explained, ‘This is an internationally award-winning approach… where both uniformed and plain-clothes officers identify predatory and suspicious offenders in the night time economy.’


It added, ‘This can involve officers attending areas around clubs and bars undercover to better ensure women are safe in these locations, and increased patrols as people leave at closing time.’


However, upon the news emerging online, it was quickly met with resistance – if not anger – amid UK-wide criticism of the police. One user wrote, ‘This is an abhorrent idea that I refuse to believe any (socialised) woman had any input to. I would feel so deeply uncomfortable in a bar full of secret police, I expect men would too.’

Another alleged, ‘The police do not protect women. This is categorically not what we want.’ A third wrote, ‘Not convinced they’ve read the room before signing this one off. That sounds more like police not dressed like police following women around. You can see where we’re going with this… one hopes the background checks for this are better.’


The Safer Streets fund will also be increased to £45 million, seeing investment in better lighting and CCTV. Johnson added, ‘Ultimately, we must drive out violence against women and girls and make every part of the criminal justice system work to better protect and defend them.’

The PM also backed Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick amid calls for her to resign after the mishandled Clapham Common event.

Wayne Couzens, a serving Metropolitan Police officer, has been charged with the kidnap and murder of Everard.


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Cameron Frew

After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BJTC-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He's now left his Scottish homelands and taken up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.

Topics: News, Police, Sarah Everard, UK


The Independent
  1. The Independent

    Undercover police to patrol bars as government vows to protect women in wake of Sarah Everard death