Wales first minister Mark Drakeford insists he has no plans to bring in curfew for men

CARDIFF, WALES - FEBRUARY 19: First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford speaks during a coronavirus press conference at the Welsh Government Building in Cathays Park on February 19, 2021 in Cardiff, Wales. Wales First Minister Mark Drakeford has said Wales will remain in lockdown for another three weeks. Primary school children will begin returning to school from February 22 and the Welsh Government has confirmed that it will be reviewing the restrictions around non-essential retail and close contact services as part of its next 21-day review which will end on Friday, March 12. (Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)
Mark Drakeford has insisted he has no plans to bring in a curfew for men. (Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)

Wales’ first minister Mark Drakeford has insisted he has no plans to bring in a curfew for men to keep women safe.

It follows comments Drakeford made to BBC Breakfast on Friday. He had said “if there were a crisis… of course you’d be prepared to consider all measures”.

It comes as a serving police officer remains in custody on suspicion of Sarah Everard’s kidnap and murder, and a separate allegation of indecent exposure.

Her disappearance has sparked anger over the safety of women on the UK’s streets.

Undated handout photo issued by Metropolitan Police of Sarah Everard. Senior police say they have been left shocked and disturbed after the arrest of a serving officer in connection with the disappearance of Sarah Issue date: Wednesday March 10, 2021.
Sarah Everard (PA)

Here is what Drakeford initially said

The Labour first minister was asked on BBC Breakfast if he would consider a curfew on men in areas where concerns have been raised for women’s safety.

He said it “wouldn’t be on the top of the list” of measures that the government would consider as it would be only a “temporary intervention”.

Pressed on this, he said: “If there were a crisis, and you needed to take dramatic action that allowed that crisis to be drawn down, then of course you’d be prepared to consider all measures that would make a difference.

Watch: British women demand safety following Sarah Everard case

“But the sort of measure, the curfew measure that you describe, it could only ever be a temporary answer and therefore it’s not at the top of our list.

“There are other things that we can do and should do and we’ll work hard with our third sector organisations, our local authorities in Wales.

“People need to be safe and to feel safe, and that’s absolutely the sort of society we wish to create here in Wales.”

Here is what Drakeford later said

After some media reports that Wales would consider a curfew, Drakeford issued this statement as he sought to clarify his earlier remarks.

He insisted Wales is "NOT introducing a curfew for men in Wales – or even considering it".

'Women are not the problem'

According to reports, some women have been told by police officers in Clapham, south London – near where Ms Everard was last seen – not to go out alone.

This has prompted anger, with a vigil, entitled “Reclaim These Streets”, due to take place at Clapham Common bandstand on Saturday evening. Further vigils have been planned in other towns and cities.

Organisers said: “It’s wrong that the response to violence against women requires women to behave differently. In Clapham, police told women not to go out at night this week. Women are not the problem.”

Drakeford’s comments on Friday came after a Green Party peer suggested a 6pm curfew for men in the wake of Ms Everard's disappearance.

As domestic abuse legislation was debated in the House of Lords on Wednesday, Baroness Jones of Moulescoomb said: "In the week that Sarah Everard was abducted and, we suppose, killed… I argue that, at the next opportunity for any bill that is appropriate, I might put in an amendment to create a curfew for men on the streets after 6pm.

"I feel this would make women a lot safer, and discrimination of all kinds would be lessened."

Jones later said it was "not an entirely serious suggestion".

Watch: Baroness who suggested 6pm curfew for men says she wanted to make a point

Marketing executive Ms Everard vanished while walking home from a friend’s flat in south London on 3 March.

She is thought to have walked through Clapham Common towards her house in Brixton, a journey which should have taken about 50 minutes.

Ms Everard was last captured on a doorbell camera walking along Poynders Road towards Tulse Hill at about 9.30pm.

Human remains were found in an area of woodland in Ashford, Kent, on Wednesday and were formally identified as Ms Everard's remains on Friday.