A vigil planned to take place at Church Litten in Newport this afternoon (Wednesday), for women to pay their respects to murder victim Sarah Everard, was officially called off.

However, small groups of socially-distanced Islanders gathered at the park to lay flowers and pay their respects this afternoon (Wednesday).

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Reclaim These Streets Isle of Wight had planned to hold a demonstration, but Hampshire Constabulary asked that organisers 'use alternative means' instead, citing Covid regulations.

The group, which let police know of their plans in advance, posted on Instagram earlier to say the organised event had been called off.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Church Litten Park in Newport

As previously reported by the County Press, Hampshire Constabulary said: "We understand the strength of feeling and people’s desire to come together mourn and show respect to Sarah Everard as well as to make a statement and organise on the issue of women’s safety.

"The Covid-19 regulations do not permit large gatherings because of the very real risks of the spread of the virus.

"We will continue to try and engage with local organisers and request that they conduct vigils using alternative means in accordance with the law."

However, Covid-safe groups gathered at the park earlier and flowers were laid.

This luncthime, Reclaim These Streets Isle of Wight said: "Hey guys, The police have been in touch and I’m sad to say that today there will be no organised event at Church Litten, at 4pm".

Isle of Wight County Press:

A vigil at Clapham Common in London this week ended with police trying to break up the gathering, for Covid reasons.

Critcisim has been levelled at the Met Police for the way it handled the operation.

Home Secretary Priti Patel has now asked Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary to carry out its own external review of the event, and this week MPs will debate the possibility of making changes to the rules on vigils and protests.