Activist has not made complaint about officer approaches on Tinder
Activist arrested at Sarah Everard vigil who says she was contacted by 50 police officers on Tinder says she still hasn’t made complaint because if she reported every message she ‘wouldn’t have a second to myself’
- Patsy Stevenson, 28, said she would not have time to report every message
- Appearing on Good Morning Britain, she said she had reported a death threat
- Ms Stevenson claimed she was ‘liked’ by 50 uniformed police officers on Tinder
- Met Police previously said it had not received any complaints from Ms Stevenson
- She was photographed masked and pinned down at the memorial on March 13
A woman who claimed she was contacted by ‘about 50’ officers on Tinder after being arrested at a Sarah Everard vigil has confirmed she has still not reported it to the police.
Patsy Stevenson, 28, who was photographed being pinned to the ground by two officers at the vigil in March, claimed she was ‘liked’ by 50 uniformed police officers on the dating app in what she called an ‘intimidation’ tactic.
However, speaking on ITV’s Good Morning Britain today Ms Stevenson said she has still not reported the ‘hostile, sexual comments’ to the police as she hasn’t got time.
‘I’m a student still,’ she told hosts Susanna Reid and Richard Madeley. ‘I need to manage my time. If I reported everything that happened to me I don’t think I would have a second to myself.’
Ms Stevenson said she has reported one ‘extreme death threat’ which she received through Facebook.
She said she did not know if that message had come from a police officer, and praised Surrey Police for being ‘very good’ and ‘understanding’ when she reported it.
Last week the Metropolitan Police said it had ‘not received any complaints’ but had contacted Ms Stevenson over the allegations she made in a TV interview.
Patsy Stevenson told ITV’s Good Morning Britain she has not complained to the police about being approached by officers on Tinder
Ms Stevenson, who went viral after she was pictured being held on the ground by officers, claimed she was contacted by ‘about 50 police officers’ on the dating app Tinder
Ms Stevenson, who is a Physics student at Royal Holloway, University of London, said she had been liked by 50 police officers in uniform on Tnder in the aftermath of the vigil
Speaking to BBC London, Ms Stevenson said men wearing uniform or with ‘I’m a police officer’ in their profiles had attempted to match with her on Tinder.
Today, Ms Stevenson told Good Morning Britain she has Tinder Gold which allows her to see who is trying to match with her.
She added: ‘On Tinder they have a verification tick so you have to be who you are in the photos and they were in their uniform so that’s their police uniform.
‘They haven’t been contacting me directly. I have Tinder Gold and so I can see them swiping and they can see I can see and it was quite a few at the same time, at the time I thought maybe it’s just a coincidence and someone told me you can share a profile on there so it’s scary.
‘I hope it’s not an intimidation tactic or something.’
There has been condemnation of the policing of the vigil, with Home Secretary Priti Patel seeking a full report on events
Ms Stevenson was photographed masked and pinned to the ground as she was detained by police at the memorial for Ms Everard on March 13.
The harrowing image went viral and helped fan the flames on the suggestion the Met Police did not care about women and their rights.
Today she added: ‘I think a lot of people know where I’m from, what went viral was me being arrested, for all the interviews I’ve done speaking about police reform and how they have abused power and for police, quite a lot at the same time to like me on a dating app is a little bit suspicious.
‘I’ve heard from activists before if you speak up they do intimidate you in some way.’
Ms Stevenson said she has received sexual messages and comments on social media since her arrest, and claimed some of these are from police officers or partners of police officers.
Last week, a spokesman for the Met said: ‘We have contacted the individual who has spoken about these concerns to offer our support and make enquiries.
‘At this time we have not received complaints in relation to this incident, but we will to continue to liaise with them about the circumstances so we can establish whether any misconduct may have occurred, and determine the appropriate next steps.
‘Officers must abide by our high standards of professional behaviour both on and off duty.
‘If someone believes that an officer’s conduct or behaviour on any social media or internet platform falls below these standards we would urge them to please contact us so that it can be properly investigated and appropriate action taken.’
Ms Stevenson said she Tinder Gold which allows her to see who has swiped on her profile
Well-wishers light candles around a tree in honour of Sarah Everard on Clapham Common, south London on March 13
Images of the physics student being handcuffed and held down by two male officers sparked anger at Scotland Yard’s policing of the gathering on March 13.
Hundreds attended the vigil in south-west London to pay their respects to 33-year-old Ms Everard, who was killed after disappearing while walking home.
The event had originally been organised by Reclaim These Streets, who cancelled it after the Met said it should not go ahead, and no definitive answer on the matter was provided by the High Court.
But people turned up throughout the day, and officers did not intervene for the first six hours while many came to lay flowers, with the Duchess of Cambridge also paying her respects.
Images of the physics student (pictured) being handcuffed and held down by two male officers sparked anger at Scotland Yard’s policing of the gathering on March 13
Thousands of women wanting to pay their respects to Miss Everard turned up at the park
By the evening, hundreds of people had gathered and refused to leave when asked by police, leading to clashes that saw protesters bundled to the ground and arrested.
The Met faced a barrage of criticism, including calls for Commissioner Cressida Dick to resign.
An official report from the watchdog, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS), backed the Met’s handling of the event and found no evidence of heavy-handedness.
In June, Ms Stevenson launched legal action against the Met over her arrest if it refused to withdraw the fixed penalty notice she was issued with.
She is also asking for an acknowledgement of wrongdoing and an apology.
Ms Stevenson’s lawyers say the policing breached her rights to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly and association.
They argue that exercising these rights would have been a ‘reasonable excuse’ for her to breach coronavirus regulations restricting people from gathering.
And they note a report from the Joint Committee on Human Rights from March which stated that ‘going on a protest, if conducted in a manner that minimises the risk of spreading Covid-19, could have been and could remain a lawful reason to leave the home during lockdown’.
Ms Stevenson is escorted away from a vigil for Ms Everard by officers after being pinned to the ground
Hundreds attended a vigil in south-west London to pay their respects to 33-year-old Ms Everard, who was killed after disappearing while walking home
Speaking at the time, Ms Stevenson said: ‘I am angry that the police shut down our space to mourn and comfort each other and I feel violated that male officers used physical force to do so.
‘I will not be silenced by such actions and I am prepared to robustly challenge the police for their conduct on that day until there has been an acknowledgement and apology for their wrongdoing.’
The vigil created a crisis in policing after images from the memorial suggested officers may have been heavy-handed.
It was held during of the UK’s many coronavirus lockdowns and was illegal under the regulations at the time.
But thousands of women wanting to pay their respects to Miss Everard turned up at the park.
Police were seen grabbing several women, leading them away in handcuffs and the force later said four people were arrested for public order and coronavirus regulation breaches
It sparked condemnation of the policing of the vigil, with Home Secretary Priti Patel seeking a full report on events.
She described footage from the evening as ‘upsetting’, while Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey called on Commissioner Cressida Dick to ‘consider’ her leadership of the force.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said the scenes were ‘unacceptable’, tweeting: ‘The police have a responsibility to enforce Covid laws but from images I’ve seen it’s clear the response was at times neither appropriate nor proportionate.’
Assistant Commissioner Helen Ball said police were put into a position ‘where enforcement action was necessary’.
She said: ‘Hundreds of people were packed tightly together, posing a very real risk of easily transmitting Covid-19.
‘Police must act for people’s safety, this is the only responsible thing to do. The pandemic is not over and gatherings of people from right across London and beyond, are still not safe.
‘Those who gathered were spoken to by officers on a number of occasions and over an extended period of time. We repeatedly encouraged those who were there to comply with the law and leave. Regrettably, a small minority of people began chanting at officers, pushing and throwing items.’
Met Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick, who has rejected calls to resign, confirmed on Monday there would be an independent review into the force’s standards and culture and Home Secretary Priti Patel also said an inquiry into the ‘systematic failures’ that allowed Wayne Couzens to continue to be a police officer would be launched.
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