Anger over plans for plainclothes police officers to patrol bars and clubs to safeguard women from predatory men

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Plans for plainclothes police officers to patrol bars and nightclubs to safeguard women from predatory men have sparked anger.

Ministers announced the controversial plans in response to mounting criticism the government is not doing enough to tackle violence against women in the wake of the tragic disappearance and death of Sarah Everard.

Measures for plainclothes police officers to monitor hospitality venues once they reopen when lockdown measures are eased have been bitterly criticised and mocked on social media.

Nic Mainwood, of the Centre for Women’s Justice, a legal charity that tackles violence against women, told The Independent: “This is quite frankly a bizarre idea particularly when women’s faith in the police has been so damaged with recent events.

“Many women will now be quite rightly asking ‘but who will protect me from the plainclothes officer?’. Undercover policing has recently been exposed as providing an opportunity for police officers to abuse their cover in forming inappropriate sexual contact with women. This initiative needs much more informed consideration.

“There are many specialist women’s sector organisations, like us, who are desperately calling for action and support from the government but none of us appear to have been consulted.

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