A woman has accused police of not taking allegations a male stranger threatened her seriously after she reported it, even though she had video evidence.
Corrine Priest’s accusation comes amid growing calls for more to be done by the government to address violence against women.
Ms Priest told Sky News the incident occurred when she was walking home in November 2020 and she realised a man was behind her.
She had just got off the underground in north London, and was on the phone to her mum, telling her she’d seen people on the tube who weren’t wearing face masks.
A male stranger in the station had overheard her conversation and taken offence.
“He proceeded to follow me, verbally abuse me, then he threatened me and harassed me for what felt like a lifetime,” Ms Priest said.
She decided to start recording the encounter on her phone as he approached her.
The video shows him asking Ms Priest if she’d made comments about him not wearing a mask. She explains the comments weren’t aimed at him after he demands an apology.
She says sorry and repeatedly tells him that she doesn’t want any trouble.
The man says: “I ain’t threatening you, yeah? But I’ve got people, yeah? If you want to mouth off like some rude girl.”
Ms Priest says later: “You ringing a friend to come and beat me up?”
He replies: “He can easily do that right now.”
When Ms Priest tells him that his behaviour is “quite intimidating,” he asks her: “It’s intimidating is it? I am an intimidating person.
“The world’s my oyster. I can do whatever the f*** I want, yeah? No one tells me what to do,” he says.
Ms Priest reported the incident to the police.
She told Sky News: “I just feel that they didn’t take it very seriously. And it takes a lot for a victim to even go to the police because you think to yourself ‘I’m no longer in any imminent danger, I’m not injured, is this even a crime worth reporting?’ It is.”
The Metropolitan Police told Sky News there have been no arrests and enquiries continue.
Ms Priest added: “These incidents all stem under the same umbrella of male harassment. The most extreme being murder and rape, but also catcalling, wolf whistling, leering, being stared at, harassed, verbally abused, sexually assaulted, and so on.
“There needs to be repercussions for those incidents because I worry that without them, these people will continue to do it.”
She now carries a panic alarm when she’s walking around.
“It’s part of my life now and brings me comfort, and I’m very vigilant,” she added.
Ms Priest thinks it’s unlikely charges will ever be brought in her case, but she hopes the anger and frustration shared by so many women right now will lead to meaningful change in the way society views, and deals, with harassment.