In London there has been a shocking case of kidnap and murder of a woman walking home at night. Made all the more shocking because the prime suspect is a police officer who has just been charged with murder. Eventually it will go to trial and all the lurid details will come out.
This has sparked off a huge outpouring of angst about societal male violence towards women, domestic abuse, the iniquities of judicial system and policing. Activists with an agenda are taking the opportunity to unpack their issue and instant solutions for the mainstream media newshounds. Some, as you might expect, are quite off the wall.
This has not been help by the poor behaviour of the police during a candlelit vigil for the unfortunate victim in a south London park. The police found themselves caught between some poorly written legislation intended to restrict public gatherings during the Covid pandemic and the right to peaceful protest.
The UK has a community policing model, they are there for the assistance and protection of the public. In this case they find themselves in a very compromising position. The organisers of the vigil followed the correct procedures, had masks and kept social distancing until at some point they got too close and the police made a tactical decision that the meeting had to be broken up. The result has been images of burly policemen wrestling women to the ground and arresting them. Given the nature of the crime, this could hardly be more damaging. Sometimes the police make mistakes and let people down and that leads to calls for institutional reforms.
There have been calls for the head of the London Metropolitan Police to resign. Except she is the first woman police officer to hold that position. The politicians involved in the framing of the ambiguous legislation are pointing to the courts and the policing tactics. The Home Secretary, who has political responsibility for the police in London is also a woman. Firing women that have achieved positions of power and influence does not seem to be a satisfactory political answer despite the clear lines of responsibility.
It is an awful mess, and there are plenty of people stoking up a wide ranging debate around the theme of male violence. Misogyeny and what to do about it, is the topic of the day.