IOPC investigation into inappropriate crime scene photos uncovers further misconduct

An investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) into allegations of misconduct involving inappropriate photographs being taken at a crime scene by two officers has been expanded with a further six officers now under investigation.

Aug 25, 2020
By Tony Thompson
Nicole Smallman and Bibaa Henry

In June two serving officers from the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) were arrested following allegations that non-official and inappropriate photographs had been taken of the bodies of sisters Nicole Smallman, 27, and Bibaa Henry, 46.

The pair, who had been out celebrating Ms Henry’s birthday, were stabbed to death in Fryent Country Park off Slough Lane in Wembley.

Both officers – who are based on the North East Command – have since been suspended from duty.

During the course of its investigation, the IOPC’s inquiries have resulted in six further MPS officers being advised they are under investigation for misconduct.

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.

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. These alleged breaches are not related to the murder investigation.

A number of other lines of inquiry are still being looked at by the IOPC. The IOPC said it continues to liaise closely with the family.

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 cooperation. 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.”

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