Women have been advised to wave down a bus or yell at passers-by if they are stopped by a police officer whom they do not trust.
The Metropolitan Police have made a number of suggestions about what people might do if approached by an officer but have concerns that they are not acting lawfully as they set out a series of actions to take following the murder of Sarah Everard Has.
It was suggested that people should ask where the officer’s colleagues are; where they come from; why they are there; and exactly why they stop or talk to them.
Anyone could verify the cop by asking to hear their radio operator or speak to the radio operator themselves, the police said before suggesting that those with concern could yell at a passerby, run into a house, knock on a door, wave off a bus or call 999.
The Met stressed that the advice was given for specific and rare scenarios that humans might find themselves in.
Police said: “It is unusual for a single plainclothes officer to get involved with someone in London. When this happens, and it may for a variety of reasons, in cases where the officer wants to arrest you, expect other officers to arrive shortly afterwards.
“However, if this does not happen and you are in an interaction with a single police officer and are on your own, it is perfectly reasonable that you seek further confirmation of that officer’s identity and intentions.”
It added, “If after all this you feel in real and imminent danger and you don’t believe that for some reason the officer is who he claims to be, then I would say you need to seek help – and a passerby yell at, run into a house, knock on a door, wave down a bus or, if you are able to, call 999. “
The advice came when the Met said it would deploy 650 new officers in busy public places and step up patrols to do more to protect women and girls and help them feel safe.
The force also promised to “step up” patrols in areas identified as “hotspots” for violence and harassment, and plainclothes officers will now work in pairs whenever possible.
Scotland Yard Police Chiefs have promised to publish a new strategy to combat violence against women and girls, outlining how they will prioritize action against sexual and violent predatory offenders.
This is to accompany a predatory offender unit that has arrested more than 2,000 suspects for domestic violence, sexual offenses and child abuse since last November.
The guidelines prompted human rights group Liberty to call for the revocation of police powers, saying, “Knowing your rights and what the limits of police powers are can help, but only up to a point. It must be recognized how powerless we can all be when faced with extensive and unaccountable police powers.
“Telling people to run away from the police when they feel uncomfortable or waving off a bus is not a solution.”
Ronald Winch, a former senior serious and complex crime investigator who has worked in a number of positions with the Met and West Midlands Police and now teaches police at Birmingham City University, said: “I think the advice is legitimate and responsible. “.
“However, we must remember that at the heart of this debate is the sheer cruelty and breach of trust that revolve around the premeditated murder of a young woman.
“More work and evidence-based practice need to be invested in preventing violence against women and girls – especially domestic violence and abuse.
“Officers must be patient and professional to provide additional explanations when using police powers over women and girls who may be nervous about interactions with the police.”
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