Watch: Jacob Rees-Mogg says 'there is nothing more reassuring than seeing a police officer in uniform when walking the streets'
Jacob Rees-Mogg has said “there is nothing more reassuring than seeing a police officer in uniform when walking the streets” as he addressed the disappearance of Sarah Everard.
A serving Metropolitan Police officer, who is in his 40s, is being questioned on suspicion of the 33-year-old’s kidnap and murder.
Rees-Mogg was responding to a question in the House of Commons from Labour MP Zarah Sultana, who said “the emphasis must be tackling violence against women and girls and the norms that too often sustain it, rather than victim-blaming narratives that say women shouldn’t be on the street at night”.
Commons leader Rees-Mogg said: “Everybody in this country should feel free to walk the streets at night safely and securely and women should be as free to do that as men.
“And the best way to do that is by tackling crime and making our streets safer and getting the extra 20,000 police [a government recruitment policy] on the street.
“There is nothing more reassuring than seeing a police officer in uniform when walking the streets and that is a comfort that we hope to be able to continue to take and take more of in this country as more police join the various forces up and down the country.”
Met Police commissioner Dame Cressida Dick said on Wednesday night that remains had been found in an area of woodland in Ashford, Kent, by detectives investigating Everard’s disappearance.
In a statement, she said: “The news today that it was a Metropolitan Police officer arrested on suspicion of Sarah’s murder has sent waves of shock and anger through the public and through the whole of the Met.
“I speak on behalf of all my colleagues in the Met when I say we are utterly appalled at this dreadful news. Our job is to patrol the streets and to protect people.”
Dick said the remains have not yet been identified and it could take some time to do so.
Marketing executive Everard vanished while walking home from a friend’s flat in south London on 3 March.
Everard is thought to have walked through Clapham Common towards her house in Brixton, a journey which should have taken about 50 minutes.
She was last captured on a doorbell camera walking along the A205 Poynders Road towards Tulse Hill at about 9.30pm.