Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick has said the Duchess of Cambridge’s visit to Sarah Everard’s vigil was legal. Asked if the Metropolitan Police knew about Kate’s visit to Clapham Common, Dame Cressida told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “The Met did know, absolutely, but of course we take all sorts of precautions to make sure that we don’t unwittingly draw attention to visits like that.”
Asked if her visit was legal, the Met’s Commissioner replied: “I would imagine that, of course, I have not asked her this question, but I think it’s worth looking at just how strongly people felt, what she said about her attendance there
“She’s in the course of her duties, she was working.”
She added: “At that point, people had a whole series of potential reasonable excuses for being away from home, we didn’t all have them.
“I’ve picked out one that may apply to her but, let’s be clear, there was a very calm vigil to which she attended where lots and lots of people came.”
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BBC presenter Nick Robinson interjected: “I don’t understand that because you have said yourself you would have attended the vigil had it been legal so it was illegal from your perspective including when she attended.”
Dame Cressida continued: “It was quite clear that whatever the organisers wanted to arrange, the numbers were going to be overwhelming.
“There was not an ability in the long run to keep this socially distanced or Covid-safe or in fact strictly legal.
“We knew some of the people who were coming were going to want a mass rally.”
The Duchess of Cambridge had visited a south London memorial for Sarah Everard, close to where the 33-year-old went missing.
Kate made a visit to Clapham Common on Saturday afternoon to pay her respects to Ms Everard and her family in the wake of the marketing executive’s murder.
The duchess visited a bandstand in the south London park where dozens of floral tributes have been placed for Ms Everard.
She was seen pausing in front of the sea of tributes, which have grown substantially in the last day.