A week after the disappearance of 33-year-old marketing executive Sarah Everard, women from Lambeth and Clapham are on high alert.

Sarah went missing on her route home from a friend’s house in Clapham Junction to Brixton.

Last night (March 9) a block of flats in Poynders Road, Clapham Park was cordoned off and searched – after CCTV footage traced her to the street at 9:30pm on Wednesday.

Police have warned local women to be vigilant – to not walk alone, or at night, and to take extra precautions.

However, some residents have taken matters into their own hands, by sharing tips on staying safe after this week’s frightening events.

Tracking your journeys

Personal protection app, Hollie Guard, asks you to enter details of your route and sends alerts to chosen contacts when you arrive at your destination safely. If a location is not reached within your set time parameters emergency contacts are notified.

If you sense danger, you can shake your phone or press a button to send your whereabouts to certain contacts. The app will emit a loud alarm and record video and sounds in the hopes of warding off strangers. 

Wandsworth Times:

Registering your location

What Three Words is a geocode system that provides an easy way of pinpointing your location. The mobile app has divided the globe into 3m x 3m squares and given each one a unique 3-word address by using a total of 40,000 words in different combinations.

People can access their current three-word address online or offline, which is ideal if someone is lost in a remote location with little mobile service. The 3-word address can be used by the control room to identify your location and send help where it is needed.

Joining local running groups

Local running clubs are a safer option for women to exercise in groups, even after dark. Clapham Runners Group is a small club set up in 2005 with members of all abilities, ages and experience.

Normally, they run two organised sessions per week – Tuesdays at 8:00pm in Battersea and Thursdays at 7:00pm on Clapham Common for intervals.

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Signing local petitions

In the last week, locals have lobbied the council to demand streets and open spaces are less dangerous.

One petition asks for more streetlights on Clapham Common, especially while more people rely on outdoor space due to current Covid-19 restrictions.

The online petition reads: “With the recent and ongoing events surrounding the disappearance of Sarah Everard in Clapham, the question of safety for not only ourselves but our friends, families and the community as a whole is at the forefront of our minds.

“The common is heavily populated throughout the day however for those trying to utilise it after working hours, they are forced to use the common in complete darkness (as most of the common has little to no lighting).

“So, the purpose of this petition is simply to request that the local council urgently take action to provide sufficient lighting to cover all areas of the common, so that we feel safe to continue to use what currently stands as a wonderful outdoor space on many of our doorsteps.”

Asking for advice

Both men and women have tapped into Twitter to ask others for tips on personal safety.

One man, who lives five minutes away from where Sarah Everard went missing, asked local women, “Is there anything else men can reasonably do to reduce the anxiety/spook factor?”

A female resident said she, "always stays in the light on main roads" and "walks with purpose."