Friday 14 August 2020

Investigators' update on allegations of police officers' inappropriate photographing of bodies in Fryent murder case

An update on what we have been doing 

It is important to us that the local community know what work we have been doing and how we can help you. Please share this update via email or in newsletters with anyone interested in our work and what we have been doing. 

Update on Wembley investigations 

The Independent Office for Police Conduct is continuing to make good progress in its criminal investigation into allegations that inappropriate photographs were taken at a homicide crime scene in Wembley in June.

Two Metropolitan Police constables were arrested by IOPC investigators on Monday 22 June and have been released under investigation to a later date pending further enquiries.

Separately, the IOPC is also making good progress with its investigation into the police response to a number of calls made to them by the family and friends of Nicole Smallman and Bibaa Henry.
Both investigations are also examining whether the officers’ actions were motivated or influenced by race discrimination.

IOPC Director for London Sal Naseem said:
I want to reassure the community that we are doing everything we can to progress this investigation. Our team is working hard to deliver a thorough and robust investigation of these deeply upsetting allegations.

Our thoughts remain with Nicole and Bibaa’s family and friends, and anyone else who may have been affected by their tragic deaths in such horrific circumstances. We continue to keep their family updated as our investigation progresses.

As this is an ongoing criminal investigation, linked to an ongoing police homicide investigation, we cannot provide further information at this time. However, we will publish further updates as soon as we can. 
Frequently asked questions 

What progress have you made with the investigation?
Both investigations are progressing well, and we are assessing a great deal of evidence. However , as it is a sensitive investigation, we cannot give further details.

How long do you think the investigation will take?
Our priority is to ensure this is a thorough, robust and independent investigation. It is not possible to put a timeframe on this.

How did the IOPC become aware of the photos?
We initially received a referral from the Metropolitan Police Service.

What type of evidence will you look at?
Unfortunately, we cannot comment on what evidence is being looked at. However, our investigations will look at lines of enquiry including police records, witness statements, evidence from the scene and other available evidence which may help.

Can you confirm there were selfies taken by the officers? Do you know who the officers sent the photos to?
Due to the ongoing investigation we cannot comment or provide any details as to the nature of the photos.

What has happened to the police officers concerned?
Two Metropolitan Police constables were arrested by IOPC investigators on Monday 22 June and have been released under investigation to a later date pending further enquiries. The MPS have suspended them from their positions.

Are the officers suspended on full pay? Can the IOPC sack a police officer?
These are both matters for the MPS as the employers of the police officers involved.

Will the officers be charged?
When the IOPC have concluded the investigation, we will decide whether to refer the evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). The CPS will then decide whether to bring charges against the officers.

How are you keeping communities informed?
We have held three update meetings with key stakeholders from Brent and expect to meet with them again soon. These key stakeholders will be requested to share this information with relevant contacts and networks.


Together with other community and council members, Gill Close Chair of Brent Safer Neighbourhood Board has been attending online meetings with the IOPC Director for London and the IOPC lead officer for the investigations where we have been able to hear updates on IOPC activities, convey community concerns and ask questions.

Councillor Tom Miller, the cabinet lead for community safety, has also attended these meetings. Two other safer neighbourhood board members, Roy Croasdaile and Khalid Afrah, also attended the first meeting

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