More Met Police officers face action over crime scene photos

  • Published
Nicole and BibaaImage source, Met Police
Image caption,
Nicole Smallman and Bibaa Henry had been celebrating Ms Henry's birthday before they were reported missing

Six more Met Police officers are facing misconduct probes over allegations of photos being taken next to the bodies of two sisters in north London.

Nicole Smallman and Bibaa Henry were killed at a park in Wembley in June.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) launched an inquiry after two officers were accused of taking photos by the bodies.

The latest misconduct allegations related to officers being aware of or viewing the photographs, the IOPC said.

Ms Smallman, 27, had been with friends celebrating Ms Henry's 46th birthday at Fryant Country Park on the evening of 5 June. The sisters' bodies were found next to each other at the park on 7 June.

On 22 June IOPC investigators arrested the two officers accused of taking the photos and later released them on bail under investigation.

Image source, Met Police
Image caption,
Images recovered from their phones - which were found in a pond - showed the sisters dancing with fairy lights hours before they were killed

IOPC Director for London Sal Naseem said he was "deeply concerned by the issues" coming from the investigation.

A statement on Tuesday from the IOPC said more evidence had emerged revealing further allegations of misconduct linked to a single north-east London police station.

"During the course of the original investigation, the IOPC's inquiries have resulted in six further Met Police officers being advised they are under investigation for misconduct," the statement said.

"The allegations are that the officers were aware of, or had either separately received or viewed the photographs.

"The six officers are under investigation for failing to either challenge or report these matters.

"The investigation has also uncovered further alleged misconduct breaches of the standards of professional behaviour for a small number of officers which include honesty and integrity, and equality and diversity.

"These alleged breaches are not related to the murder investigation."

WhatsApp group

The Met said the images were shared "on a closed WhatsApp group" and that the two arrested officers remained suspended from duty.

Evidence from that investigation has been passed to the Crown Prosecution Service, the Met added.

At this stage no more officers have been placed on restricted duties or have been suspended, the force said.

Image caption,
Nicole Smallman's body was found by her boyfriend after she was reported missing

The families of Ms Henry and Ms Smallman have been informed by the IOPC.

Mr Naseem added: "Policing is founded on community consent, confidence and cooperation. The public have a right to expect high standards of professional behaviour from police.

"These allegations, if true, breach that trust and may point to more serious issues around the organisational culture, which we will also be looking at.

"The evidence we have seen provides a salient reminder to all police officers to take responsibility for addressing wrongdoing and upholding professional standards in their own ranks, and their obligation to speak out if they see unacceptable behaviour."

In June Met Commissioner Cressida Dick said she was "disgusted" with the allegations against the officers and apologised to the family.

The IOPC is also separately investigating how the Met handled calls from worried family and friends of the sisters after they went missing.

Danyal Hussein, 18, of Blackheath, has been charged with two counts of murder and will next appear at the Old Bailey on 21 September.

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