More than 2,000 reports of stalking and harassment in East End last year

sarah everard

The East End saw more than 2,000 reports of stalking and harassment last year. - Credit: MPS

The East End has seen more than 2,000 reports of stalking and harassment.

In total, Tower Hamlets saw 2,236 reports of the offences in the year to September 2020, according to the Crime Survey for England and Wales. 

This compares to 2,199 in the borough the year before - an increase of two per cent.

The figure - which does not specify whether the victims and perpetrators were male or female - comes amid growing debate around the safety of women following the death of Sarah Everard.

The body of the 33-year-old marketing executive was discovered in woodland in Kent on Wednesday, March 10. 

A Met Police officer who was arrested on suspicion of her murder remains in custody.

The service is to be investigated over its handling of an allegation of indecent exposure against the same officer.

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Asst Commissioner Nick Ephgrave said on Friday, March 12: "I know the public feel deeply hurt and angry and I speak on behalf of all my colleagues when I say we too are horrified.

"I understand women in London and the wider public, particularly those in the area where Sarah went missing, will be worried and may well be feeling frightened.

"Londoners are likely to continue to see extra officers on the streets in the coming days. Our officers are committed to keeping you and your loved ones safe."

Tower Hamlets mayor John Biggs tweeted on March 10: "My thoughts are with Sarah Everard's family, friends and everyone affected by today's tragic news. Women deserve to feel safe when they walk home."

The East End's two per cent increase in stalking and harassment compares to an overall 15pc rise observed in England and Wales. 

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) says stalking offences account for the increase - from 23,543 offences in 2019 to 64,265 in 2020.

However, the ONS expects a change to the way the Home Office counts stalking, harassment, controlling or coercive behaviour since 2018 caused an increase.

Neighbouring Newham also saw a 15pc rise, from 1,573 in 2019 to 1,811 in 2020.

The Crime Survey for England and Wales records all types of crimes, including those that might not have been reported to the police.