24 Sep 2021

Women's safety in spotlight as man arrested over murder of UK teacher

4:37 pm on 24 September 2021

A man has been arrested on suspicion of murdering London teacher Sabina Nessa, whose death has again cast focus on the issue of women's safety in the UK's capital.

London has again been shocked by the murder of a lone woman in a public space - teacher Sabina Nessa.

Sabina Nessa's body was found in a park. Photo: Metropolitan Police UK

It is believed Nessa, 28, was killed last week on a five-minute walk from her south-east London home to a pub, where she planned to meet a friend.

She never arrived and her body was found in a nearby park the following day, but a post-mortem examination could not conclude how she died.

After six days of investigation, police said on Thursday evening local time that they had arrested a 38-year-old man on suspicion of murder.

A man in his 40s had previously been arrested and released in connection with the case.

Investigators also released images of a different man they wanted to speak to, who was captured on CCTV in the area on the night Nessa died.

The images showed the man, dressed in grey pants and a black top, walking down the street, and a silver car that police said he had access to.

"Any information as to his identity or whereabouts could be vital for our investigation," Detective Chief Inspector Neil John from the Metropolitan Police said.

Officers had said they were probing whether Nessa was attacked by a stranger.

Prevention of violence should be greater priority - mayor

Nessa's death is the latest high-profile crime where a woman was victimised on London's streets.

"When I think of Bibaa Henry, Nicole Smallman, Sarah Everard, it's heartbreaking," London Mayor Sadiq Khan said, referencing other women killed in similar public attacks.

"If you compare and contrast this International Women's Day in 2021 versus International Women's Day in March 2020, in the course of that year 118 women were killed by men across the country."

Khan said more could be done to curb violence against women both in the home and on the UK's streets.

"Outlawing misogyny, making it a hate crime, making the harassment of women in a public place a criminal offence," he said.

"I think this deserves the same priority as counterterrorism."

A vigil for Nessa is planned for Friday evening local time.


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