Scotland Yard is investigating whether primary school teacher Sabina Nessa was killed by a stranger who is still at large, a senior official said.
28-year-old Nessa is suspected of being murdered while walking through Cator Park in southeast London on what should have been a five-minute drive to the pub from her nearby home at around 8:30 pm last Friday.
His body was found near the OneSpace community center in Kidbrooke Park Road, Greenwich, on Saturday.
Speaking from the crime scene, Metropolitan Police DCI Trevor Lawry insisted that London’s streets “are safe for women” despite not being able to rule out that Nessa’s killer might strike again.
Her murder, which follows the high-profile murders of Sarah Everard and sisters Nicole Smallman and Bibaa Henry, has once again sparked debate about the safety of women and girls on the streets of Britain.
DCI Lawry said it was “keeping a completely open mind” about the attacker’s motives, but was concerned they were still at large.
When asked if the Met was concerned that the killer might attack someone else, he said: “We have lines of investigation that we are pursuing at this time.
“It’s always a concern that it might happen, but that’s not something we have intelligence about at the moment.”
When asked if he believed a stranger was behind the attack, Lawry added: “That is definitely a line of investigation that we are looking at.”
He continued: “The streets are safe for women, I would like to reassure the public about that, I would like to make sure that people are free to walk without fear and my officers will make sure that can take place.”
Nessa is believed to have been heading towards the Depot bar in Pegler Square, Kidbrooke Village, when she was attacked. A post-mortem examination, conducted Monday on the cause of death, was inconclusive.
A man in his 40s who was arrested on suspicion of murder has been released under further investigation.
DI Joe Garrity, who is leading the murder investigation, said: “Sabina’s journey should have taken just over five minutes, but she never reached her destination. We know that the community is rightly shocked by this murder, as are we, and we are using every available resource to find who is responsible. “
Colleagues and neighbors have paid tribute to Nessa. Her colleague Lisa Williams, principal of Rushey Green Elementary School in Lewisham, called her a brilliant teacher and said the school had been “devastated.”
Annie Gibbs, vice president of the Kidbrooke forum community group, said people in the area were shocked and scared. “We are a loving community and we have a strong sense of solidarity,” he said. “They all want the same thing: to support Sabina’s family and make sure we find whoever did this so they can get justice.”
She added: “We want people to respect and honor his life and make sure we send a loud and clear message that we are a united community and that this violent act is not going to divide us. Violence is not welcome here and we will face it. Although many people did not know Sabina, our community is one ”.
A 7 p.m. vigil will be held Friday night in Pegler Square for Nessa, supported by the group Reclaim These Streets, which organized a similar vigil after Sarah Everard’s murder in March.
Campaign groups have said that for too long the burden of women’s safety has fallen on women, adding that a woman is killed by a man every three days in England.
The government launched a strategy on violence against women and girls in July and promised better support services for minority communities, as well as a public health campaign that will focus on the behavior of offenders.
Gibbs, the founder of the community interest company Amour Destiné, which supports black women and girls, said that despite growing anger over violence against women, the government still isn’t listening.
“The focus remains largely on making women feel safe, and we have excellent strategies in this regard. But how long will it be the responsibility of women to stay safe? What we need is a strategy that focuses on stopping harmful behaviors from people. “
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism