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More Met police officers face investigation over 'inappropriate photos' taken at crime scene
25 August 2020, 18:46
Six more police officers are being investigated over "inappropriate photos" taken at a crime scene in London following the murder of two sisters.
Two officers have already been arrested following allegations that "non-official"photos were taken by police at the scene of the murder of Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has been conducting a criminal investigation into serious allegations of misconduct following the incident in June, in which two women were murdered in a park in Wembley.
Allegations were put forward that "non-official and inappropriate photographs" were taken by two officers of the women's bodies and then shared on a private WhatsApp group.
The two officers, both based at the Met's North East Command, were arrested by the IOPC on June 22 and later released on bail under investigation.
But the watchdog says that during its investigation "further evidence" had emerged that resulted in six further Met officers being placed under investigation for alleged misconduct.
The allegations are that the officers were aware of or had either separately received or viewed the photographs.
They are now under investigation for failing to either challenge or report these matters.
The IOPC has expressed concerns that such behaviour "may point to more serious issues around the organisational culture" of the Met.
IOPC director for London Sal Naseem said: "I am deeply concerned by the issues emerging from our investigation.
"Policing is founded on community consent, confidence and co-operation.
"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."
Responding to the news, a spokesperson for the Met said the force was providing its "full support" to the investigation, but that no more officers had been suspended as of yet.
"The IOPC has completed its investigation and has sent a report to the MPS which is currently being reviewed by the Directorate of Professional Standards," a Met spokesperson said.
"During the course of the investigation, further possible misconduct matters came to light, and the IOPC have advised six additional officers that they are under investigation for misconduct in relation to the inappropriate and non-official photographs.
"All officers are based on the North East Command. No more officers are suspended or on restricted duties at this stage.
"These matters are being independently investigated by the IOPC and the MPS is providing full support."
The families of the two victims have been informed of the developments by the IOPC.