Wembley murders: Six more police officers investigated over photos of dead sisters' bodies

Watchdog ‘deeply concerned by the issues emerging’ in investigation

Lizzie Dearden
Home Affairs Correspondent
Tuesday 25 August 2020 18:09

Six more London police officers are being investigated over photographs taken with the bodies of two murdered sisters.

Two Metropolitan Police constables were arrested in June on suspicion of misconduct in public office after allegedly taking selfies at the scene of the killings of Nicole Smallman and Bibaa Henry.

The two sisters were found dead on 7 June in a park in Wembley where they had celebrated Henry's birthday two days earlier.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has now widened its investigation to include six other officers suspected of misconduct as well as issues around Scotland Yard’s “organisational culture”.

A spokesperson for the watchdog 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.”

Scotland Yard said the photos had been shared in a closed WhatsApp group.

The two arrested officers have been released as the investigation continues. They have been suspended from work, but the other six officers’ duties have not been restricted.

The IOPC said its investigation had also sparked further allegations of misconduct linked to the same police station but unrelated to the murder probe.

“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,” the watchdog added.

It is in contact with Smallman and Henry’s relatives as the investigation continues.

The IOPC’s director for London, Sal Naseem, said he was “deeply concerned by the issues emerging”.

He added: “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.”

Scotland Yard said it was providing its “full support” to the IOPC’s independent investigation.

It has referred allegations against the two officers accused of taking the photographs to its Directorate of Professional Standards and the Crown Prosecution Service.

Danyal Hussein, 18, has been charged with murdering Smallman and Henry in what prosecutors say was “an unprovoked and random attack”.

He remains in custody ahead of a plea and case management hearing set for 21 September.

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