IOPC drops probe over Owami Davies investigation
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has said it will not launch a probe over an “invalid” referral it received from Scotland Yard during the Owami Davies investigation.
It said it was sent a death or serious injury (DSI) report in relation to contact Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) officers had with the student nurse after she was reported missing on July 6.
It was filed following arrests made by the force on suspicion of murder during their search for Ms Davies, amid growing concerns for her safety.
But officers were “ecstatic” to report the 24-year-old was found “safe and well” in Hampshire on Tuesday.
The MPS has said it will now carry out a review of “all aspects” of its investigation into Ms Davies’ disappearance following “concerns raised around the search”.
In a statement on Wednesday, August 25, an IOPC spokesperson said: “On August 5 we received a mandatory death or serious injury (DSI) referral from the Metropolitan Police Service, in relation to contact MPS officers had with Owami Davies on July 6 after she was reported missing. The DSI referral was made after the force announced it had made arrests on suspicion of her murder.
“Given that Owami Davies has now been found safe and we have not received information from the force that Ms Davies has suffered any serious injuries, the referral does not meet the criteria for a DSI referral. We have advised the Met that it is invalid and therefore we will be taking no further action.”
A Twitter account linked to Ms Davies’ family said they were “forever grateful” after she was located outside of London more than seven weeks after leaving her family home in Grays, Essex.
“We the Davies family would like to express our deepest gratitude to every one of you wherever you are, whoever you are. Thank you for all your well wishes, love hugs & thoughts. Together we searched far & beyond. We are forever grateful,” one post said.
Despite the arrests of five people and numerous appeals for information, officers were struggling to locate Ms Davies as they trawled through 117 reported sightings of the 24-year-old.
The 118th report, made in response to a media appeal by a member of the public, at 10.30am on Tuesday was the one which led to her being found.
On July 6, Ms Davies had been found by officers asleep in a doorway in Clarendon Road, Croydon, while waiting for a friend, but told them she did not need help and left.
Her family had already reported her disappearance but Ms Davies had not yet been marked as a missing person on the police database at that time.
MPS officers said this would be among the aspects of the case to be looked at in a review of the investigation.
At a briefing with journalists on Tuesday, Detective Chief Inspector Nigel Penney from the force’s Specialist Crime Command said officers were “ecstatic” to have found Ms Davies, adding: “This is clearly the outcome we were hopeful for – the finding of the missing lady, Owami Davies.
“I’d like to say she has been found safe and well outside the London area in the county of Hampshire and she’s currently with specialist officers from my team.”
He added: “She looks in good health, she’s in a place of safety, and not currently in the vulnerable state that we were led to believe she was in at the start of her disappearance.”