Saturday 27 November 2021

Police officers who shared pictures of the bodies of murdered sisters to be sentenced on Monday

 Metropolitan Police Statement regarding the police officers who shared pictures of the bodies of Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman taken at the murder scene in Fryent Country Park.

A police constable has been dismissed without notice and another would have been dismissed had he still been a serving officer for taking inappropriate photographs at the scene of a double murder in Wembley.

An accelerated misconduct hearing was held for PC Jamie Lewis and former PC Deniz Jaffer, who has resigned, following their guilty pleas at the Old Bailey on Tuesday, 2 November to misconduct in public office.

The hearing was to determine allegations their actions breached the standards of professional behaviour in relation to discreditable conduct, honesty and integrity, equality and diversity, authority, respect and courtesy, duties and responsibilities, confidentiality and challenging and reporting improper conduct.

The allegations were all found proven.

Both officers, who were based at the North East Command Unit, will be added to the Barred List held by the College of Policing. Those appearing on the list cannot be employed by police, local policing bodies (PCCs), the Independent Office for Police Conduct or Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services.

The hearing was chaired by Assistant Commissioner Helen Ball on Wednesday, 24 November.

AC Ball said: “The behaviour of PCs Lewis and Jaffer that day was shameful and fell very far below the standards we expect of all our officers. We do not want officers who act in such an unprofessional and disrespectful manner to be part of the Metropolitan Police Service.

“Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman and we deeply regret the additional distress this matter has caused them. I am profoundly sorry, both personally and on behalf of the Met.

“The behaviour of PCs Lewis and Jaffer initially came to light because someone had concerns and anonymously reported them. I thank them for doing the right thing; we encourage all our officers and staff, and indeed members of the public, to report wrong-doing and we will act on those reports.”

On Wednesday, 17 June 2020 the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards was informed of allegations that non-official and inappropriate photographs had been taken by police at the crime scene in Fryent Country Park, Wembley, in relation to the murders of Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman. The sisters were killed in the early hours of Saturday, 6 June 2020 with their bodies found the following day.

During the early hours of 8 June 2020, PC Jaffer and PC Lewis were placed on the cordon to protect the crime scene. They left their posts to take pictures on their mobile phones of the victims and the crime scene. They shared the images with other officers and, in PC Jaffer’s case, with members of the public via WhatsApp.

Both officers used the disrespectful and derogatory term “dead birds” to describe the victims while sharing the images.

In an unconnected matter PC Jaffer used a racially derogatory term in a message to members of the public about a policing activity. PC Lewis responded with approval to another officer who used the same term and did not challenge or report it. That other officer will also face a gross misconduct hearing in due course.

Following the allegation about the photos taken in Wembley, the MPS made a referral to the IOPC, which launched an independent investigation. PC Jaffer and PC Lewis were arrested on Monday, 22 June 2020 by the IOPC on suspicion of misconduct in public office and subsequently released under investigation.

A file was referred by the IOPC to the CPS and both officers were charged on Wednesday, 28 April 2021. They will be sentenced on Monday, 6 December at the Old Bailey.

Following their arrest, the officers were suspended from duty. Former PC Jaffer resigned and left the Met on Wednesday, 18 August. Under the Police (Conduct) Regulations 2020, serving officers are able to resign or retire without requiring permission but can still face misconduct proceedings. This ensures that if allegations are proven and they are dismissed, their names are added to the Barred List.

+ We're working hard to raise standards in the Met and have commissioned an independent review by Baroness Louise Casey to examine our culture and standards of behaviour. 

Every Met employee is being spoken to about adhering to professional boundaries, their use of social media and their responsibility to challenge inappropriate behaviour. 

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