Journalists mark first anniversary of Sarah Everard murder with new website

A London website marked the first anniversary of the murder of Sarah Everard with a series of mini documentaries and the launch of dedicated website to ensure her memory lives on.

Sarah was kidnapped and murdered by serving police officer Wayne Couzens in March last year, as she walked home in South London.

The 33-year-old’s death had a profound impact on the country, bringing into the spotlight how unsafe many women feel when alone at night, as well as leading to widespread concern about how the Metropolitan Police operates, where Couzens was a police officer.

To mark the first anniversary of Sarah’s death, MyLondon launched its new site in her memory, using the immersive storytelling Shorthand to present what had happened, and what still needs to happen. The site is called Boundless Love

The team also presented a series of short-form documentaries on social media. A series of articles were also produced on the main website, while readers subscribed to MyLondon’s newsletters were also sent a one-off report marking the anniversary.

Key contributors to the first anniversary project were Lucy Williamson, Rachael Davis, Ruby Gregory, Sylvie Wilkinson, Tom Snell and Alice Chancellor.

MyLondon Editorial Director Liz Hazelton said: “Sarah Everard’s horrific kidnap and murder was one of the biggest stories we covered in 2021.

“It had a profound impact on the MyLondon team. I think all of us desperately hoped that she would come home safely and the full explanation of what had happened was shocking, even to the most experienced journalists on staff.

“It was also a complex story that exposed huge failings in the Metropolitan Police and blew open a wider debate on women’s safety.

“Those issues haven’t gone away and I think we’re still writing about them every week — but it seemed crucial that Sarah should be at the heart of our coverage on the first anniversary of her death.

“We wanted to put her life and what she had achieved front and centre, and to remember that she had family and friends who desperately miss her. We don’t want this to be lost.”

Couzens, who has since been given a whole-life jail term for his crimes, used the knowledge he had gained from working on Covid patrols in January and his Metropolitan Police-issue warrant card to trick his victim under the guise of a fake arrest for breaching coronavirus guidelines.

The abduction was witnessed by a couple travelling past in a car — but they believed they had seen an undercover police officer carrying out a legitimate arrest, so did not intervene.

  • In 2022, Behind Local News aims to celebrate local journalism in all its forms through our 365 Acts of Local Journalism Project. Lets us know what you think should be included. You can email us here or contact us via Twitter on BehindLocalNews or on Facebook here.

>> See the series so far, here



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Behind Local News

Behind Local News

A place to share the stories behind the stories