hundreds shared tips on how to help women feel less threatened.

While city officials have acknowledged that “too many women feel unsafe when traveling, working or going out at night,” activists and community leaders say little has been done to make the streets safer amid lockdown restrictions, when walking remains one of the few activities that people are allowed to do in public.

Ms. Everard left a friend’s house in south London around 9 p.m. on March 3. Her journey back home should have taken her around 50 minutes, and she was last spotted on CCTV at 9:30 p.m. near a road intersection in a residential area.

Police officers have searched hundreds of houses in the neighborhood, as well as ponds in a park, Clapham Common, that Ms. Everard may have walked through that night.

But hopes that she would be found alive grew slimmer on Wednesday evening, when Ms. Dick said that officers had found human remains in Kent, around 50 miles southeast of London. Ms. Dick said the police could not confirm the identity of the remains, adding that doing so could take “considerable time.”

Ms. Everard’s disappearance is likely to add pressure to Mr. Johnson’s government, which plans to introduce measures to address violence against women and girls this year. According to national statistics, more than 55,000 rapes were recorded in England and Wales in 2019 and 2020, and one in five women in Britain will be subjected to sexual assault during their lifetime.

It was even more shocking to many that the main suspect in Ms. Everard’s disappearance was a police officer. The Metropolitan Police said on Tuesday that the man, in his 40s, had been arrested on Tuesday in Kent and was being kept in custody on suspicion of kidnapping, murder and indecent exposure. A woman in her 30s was arrested at the same location on suspicion of assisting an offender.

The officer, who serves in the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command, and whose primary role was to patrol diplomatic premises, was not on duty when Ms. Everard disappeared, the police said.

On Wednesday Ms. Dick, the Metropolitan Police commissioner, sought to quell any mistrust the public may have about the force she oversees.

“I speak on behalf of all my colleagues when I say that we are utterly appalled at this dreadful, dreadful news,” she said.

But Ms. Reid, the leader of the Women’s Equality Party, said that even beyond devoting more funding to address gender violence and improving city planning to protect women, the police had a lot to do to win women’s trust.

“It’s not about safety — it’s about freedom in the public space,” Ms. Reid said. “Most of us have accepted that the streets are too dangerous for us,” she added. “But we can’t accept this any longer.”

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