Sabina Nessa: Muslim women fearful after teacher’s murder and call for more police patrols

Local residents fear that Sabina Nessa could have been targeted because of her religion and warned that ‘women are not safe anywhere’

Members of the Muslim community in Kidbrooke in London have expressed concerns that Sabina Nessa could have been targeted because of her religion.

The 28-year-old teacher was murdered just metres from her home on September 17, in Cator Park, Greenwich, while walking to the pub.

The death has shocked the capital, with mourners organising a vigil on Friday.

Police believe the killer is still at large, and have said they are “keeping an open mind” about the attacker’s motive.

The body of Sabrina Nessa, a primary school teacher, was found in a park in Kidbrooke. Credit: Met Police

However members of the local Muslim community have expressed concerns that she could have been attacked due to her religion.

“The community is feeling sad, this is some kind of harassment for women, especially for Muslim women,” a Bengali woman, who wished to remain anonymous, told our sister title LondonWorld.

“We all want some kind of security at the moment, this is a very nice place but still this happened here.

“It is scary for the community and also the Bengali community, because from her name it sounds like she was a Bengali girl.

“Women are not safe anywhere, especially in this country - I didn’t think it would happen.

“I feel very scared and sad as she was just a young girl.”

LondonWorld approached Scotland Yard to ask whether Ms Nessa could have been targeted over her religion.

It appears her family are Muslim, and in her sister’s tribute to her, she asks: “May Allah grant her Jannah. Ameen.”

Police believe that Ms Nessa was making her way through Cator Park towards The Depot bar in Pegler Square, Kidbrooke Village where she planned to meet a friend at around 8.30pm on Friday September 17.

She never arrived at the pub and is thought to have been murdered as she walked through the park.

Her body was found close to the OneSpace community centre within the park at around 5.30pm on Saturday September 18.

The police scene in Kidbrooke, where Sabina Nessa was killed. People have been leaving flowers in tribute. Credit: Lynn Rusk

“It is quite a shock to be honest, but in the particular area where that awful thing happened, people use it all the time,” a woman, who gave her name as Mia, told LondonWorld.

“There’s a local Sainsbury’s in the area so there’s lots and lots of people around.

“Today I didn’t want to go on my own so I brought my son with me.

“We need more police patrols in the area.

“I don’t know where the cameras are situated or anything like that, if the area is going to be monitored properly.”

Police have said that Ms Nessa’s murderer could attack again, although there is no information to suggest that this is imminent or likely.

Det Ch Supt Trevor Lawry said: "It’s always a concern that it may happen, but that’s not something that we have any intelligence on at this time.”

Det Ch Supt Lawry added: “The streets are safe for women, I’d like to reassure the public around that, I’d like to make sure that people are free to walk around free from fear and my officers will make sure that that can take place.”

The full version of this article was published on our sister website LondonWorld

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