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Sarah Everard: Wayne Couzens appears in court charged with murder

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Activists condemn police pushback on Sarah Everard vigil

Her body was found by police searching woodland near Ashford, Kent, on Wednesday.

The confirmation Sarah Everard's family had longed not to hear was made public by the Metropolitan Police at lunchtime.

"But I completely understand that despite this, women in London and the wider public, particularly those in the area where Sarah went missing, will be anxious and may well be feeling scared", she said.

Ms Everard's disappearance, and the arrest of a police officer, prompted an outpouring of shock and anger on social media as women shared their experiences of feeling unsafe.

Human remains were discovered this week in bushland in Kent about 60 kilometres from where she was last seen and have since been confirmed as Ms Everard.

'That investigation continues at a pace and we have hundreds of officers working round the clock to establish the full circumstances of Sarah's disappearance, and her murder'.

He added: "Our thoughts remain with them as this matter progresses".

The case has caused a political fallout, with MP Jess Phillips this week reading out the names of 118 women murdered previous year.

"Dead women is a thing we've all just accepted as part of our daily lives", said Phillips, reading the names of victims whose killings involve a man charged or convicted.

There was also rage at the inadequate response from police advising women to prepare themselves for attacks rather than targeting behaviour from men, as well as Met boss Cressida Dick stating that such cases were "incredibly rare". "The problem isn't women, the problem is that women aren't safe on our streets", Ms Birley added.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), a watchdog dealing with policing complaints, is probing the police over its handling of the case.

Police officer charged with murder of Sarah Everar.

Wayne Couzens, a father of two, was arrested on Tuesday on suspicion of abduction and murder.

"The disappearance of Sarah and the absolute tragedy around that has really touched a nerve with a lot of women", said Anna Birley, 31, one of the organisers of a planned Reclaim These Streets vigil to honour Ms Everard and demand change.

Reclaim These Streets, a volunteer collective planning the socially-distanced events, urged police to work with organisers to ensure it could go ahead.

The force said Couzens joined its ranks in 2018, and most recently served in the parliamentary and diplomatic protection command, an armed unit responsible for guarding London embassies and Parliament.

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