POLICE could order men to stay off the streets when a murderer is at large in their neighbourhood, a Government adviser has suggested.
Dame Vera Baird, the Victims Commissioner for England and Wales, said there's a "real vacuum of police action in the fight against violence against women".
She was speaking at the Labour Party conference in Brighton after the murder of 28-year-old teacher Sabina Nessa.
Her remarks come after a Green Party peer suggested all men should face a 6pm curfew following the murder of Sarah Everard.
Dame Vera, a former high-flying barrister and Labour Party MP, now advises the Government on the rights of victims and witnesses.
In comments reported by The Times, she said: "Reclaim the Streets started when the Yorkshire Ripper was at large in the late Seventies.
"The point of that was because the police told women in the North to keep off the streets to be safe from him.
"When, of course, we thought they should have been telling men to keep off the streets so what he was doing might be a bit more visible.
"It strikes me that very little has changed amongst the authorities in all those years and we have a very deep problem."
The safety of women on Britain's streets is once again under the spotlight after the murder of Ms Nessa earlier this month.
The primary school teacher was attacked as she walked to a pub near her home in Kidbrooke, South East London, to meet an old pal.
Dominos delivery driver Koci Selamaj, 36, appeared at Willesden Magistrates’ Court today charged with her murder.
The Albanian, who spoke only to confirm his name, address and date of birth, was remanded in custody and will appear at the Old Bailey on Thursday.
Earlier this year the murder of Ms Everard, who disappeared while walking through London at night, sparked calls for greater protection for women.
PC Wayne Couzens, 48, pleaded guilty to rape, kidnap, and murder. He will be sentenced at the Old Bailey tomorrow and faces life in jail.
At the time Baroness Jones, a Green Party peer, suggested all men should abide by a 6pm curfew to make women feel safer on the streets.
Speaking during a debate in the House of Lords, she said: "If anyone is being advised to stay at home it should be men, not women.
She later admitted the idea wasn't practical but said she wanted to highlight that it shouldn't be women who have to change their behaviour.
But the proposal sparked a political backlash with Government sources saying it would be a "massive curtailing of basic freedoms and rights".
Caroline Nokes, Tory MP and Chair of the Women and Equalities Committee also said: "You can't go around slapping curfews on one gender.
"Any solution to the real fear that women feel is going to have to be a lot more complex than that.
"Its a bonkers suggestion – but it has got us all talking about what practical steps men can take to make women feel safer."
But measures promised after Ms Everard's murder to try to stop further violence against women still haven't been implemented six months on.
Boris Johnson pledged at the time that “immediate steps” would be taken.
Under Project Vigilant, bars and streets where sexual offences were reported were to be flooded with plain-clothes officers.
Yet the scheme — pioneered by Thames Valley Police — has yet to be rolled out in London or most of rest of the UK despite 77 murders of women since Sarah died.
Dorset and Wiltshire police are among those so far to adopt the policy.
Funding for street lighting has also been cut across the UK in the last three years.
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