Police handling of Sarah Everard vigil 'justified', says UK watchdog

The Metropolitan Police's handling of a vigil for Sarah Everard was "justified" a police watchdog has found. Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) found that the police had "acted appropriately" while attending a vigil in memory of Everard on March 13. Everard's body was found near Ashford, Kent, after being reported missing. The HMIC's statement on March 30 said: "The Metropolitan Police was justified in adopting the view that the risks of transmitting COVID-19 at the vigil were too great to ignore when planning for and policing the event. "Police officers did not act inappropriately or in a heavy-handed manner. "Police officers at the vigil did their best to peacefully disperse the crowd." Reclaim These Streets, who organised the vigil, released a statement saying they were "disappointed" with the watchdog's findings. Footage from Clapham Common, south London, shows tensions flaring at the vigil on March 13. Swearing is heard as police officers are seen shoving those in attendance.