Grace | Threatened with arrest by lone officer

I was stopped by a lone police officer while walking home in SW London during the time Levi Bellfield (as we now know) was attacking women in the area with a hammer.

I had my keys between my fingers and was on high alert for men on their own. The officer was in uniform and stopped me. He threatened to arrest me as my keys could be seen to be a weapon. He was absolutely buzzing with the power he had over me and expected me to be completely subservient to him, which of course I was – he was a police officer. But I look back and am now so angry that he did that. He preyed on the vulnerability and fear of young women during that time. A police officer is the only man I would have stopped to talk to. I was relieved to see him. And I strongly believe he knew that and he took advantage of that to make me (and, I imagine, other women) feel powerless.

Constabulary: Metropolitan Police Service

Timespan: Two decades ago

Did you report it to the police?: No

Your ethnicity: White British

Have you experienced suicidality due to this?: No

Are you disabled as defined under the Equality Act 2010?: No

Illustration by Danny Noble

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