A woman who attended a vigil for Sarah Everard in March of this year says she was later contacted by 50 police officers on the dating app, Tinder. The vigil garnered nationwide attention when it descended into chaos after the arrival of the Metropolitan Police force.
Patsy Stevenson, a women's rights activist, attended the vigil at Clapham Common and was photographed being arrested by police. Now, she claims that multiple officers have contacted her on Tinder, which she believes is to intimidate her.
Speaking to the BBC, Patsy pointed out that she was able to see the police officers had 'liked' her on the app as she'd paid for a premium service. 'They were all in uniform on their profiles or it said "I'm a police officer",' she explained.
The 28-year-old alleges that the officers tried to make contact with her as a result of her outspoken views on policing at the vigil. 'It is almost like an intimidation thing, saying 'look we can see you', and that, to me, is terrifying,' she said, 'They know what I went through and they know that I'm fearful of police and they've done that for a reason.'
She also revealed that since attending the vigil, she's received numerous threatening messages from members of the public. '[I] can't count the amount of death threats I've had,' Patsy said, 'Now there's always that fear when I'm out and I see someone staring at me.'
Although she has reported the threats to police, which are being investigated, Patsy said she hasn't reported that she was contacted on Tinder. Patsy also pointed out that while she is not 'anti-police' she does believe that officers need to start 'taking accountability' of the situation – especially following the Metropolitan's (quite frankly ridiculous) advice that women should 'flag down a bus' if they are approached by a lone police officer.
'Stop telling women how to change their behaviour just to stay alive,' she stressed. 'If they [the police force] started looking into it properly and... listening to people's concerns and then enacting change, we would be able to trust them more.'
As a result of the activist's claims, the Met urged her to contact them with more information so they can 'establish if any MPS officer is involved [and] whether any misconduct may have occurred.'
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