The Crown Prosecution Service has confirmed that two Police Constables, PC Deniz Jaffer, aged 47, and PC Jamie Lewis, 32, have been charged with misconduct in public office. Both are based on the North East Command.
They will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, 27 May for their first hearing.
Following their arrest in June, both officers were suspended from duty. Officers from the MPS’s Directorate of Professional Standards (DPS) will now liaise with the CPS around timings of any misconduct proceedings to ensure there is no impact on the judicial process.
On Wednesday, 17 June 2020 the DPS was informed of allegations that non-official and inappropriate photographs had been taken by police at the crime scene in place in Fryent Country Park, Wembley, in relation to the murders of Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman, who were killed in the early hours of Saturday, 6 June.
The MPS made a referral to the IOPC, which launched an independent investigation. Two MPS officers were arrested on Monday, 22 June 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, who took the decision to charge both officers.
Commander Paul Betts, DPS, said: “These are extremely serious charges and we thank the IOPC for their work to get to this point. Throughout their investigation we have remained resolute in our efforts to provide every support to their enquiries.
“Our thoughts go out to the families of Bibaa and Nicole, as we recognise the renewed grief and pain this development will bring. We know the public will share our outrage, but I would ask that space is now given to allow the judicial process to run its proper course. It is not appropriate for us to initiate any internal investigations against the officers at this stage as this could impact on that process.”
As soon as this matter came to light, the MPS took action on the North East Command to remind officers of their responsibilities in using WhatsApp and other social media channels. Local senior management spoke to officers on the command to outline what is expected of them in terms of their behaviour as well as encouraging anyone who has a concern about a colleague’s behaviour to come forward.
The IOPC investigation made two fast-time learning recommendations to the MPS. The first was to ensure all officers within a single police station in the North East Command conform to the expectations of their behaviour under the Code of Ethics, whilst on and off duty, and are aware that failure to do so could severely damage the public’s confidence in policing.
The second was for the MPS to review whether supervisors and senior management at that police station are taking personal responsibility to identify and eliminate patterns of inappropriate behaviour, whilst simultaneously promoting a safe and open culture which makes clear to officers and staff that they are duty bound to challenge and report behaviour that does not align with the Code of Ethics.
These recommendations, which were received on Monday, 16 November, have been largely addressed already, not just within the single police station but across the entire North East Command. However, senior officers continue work to ensure these recommendations are fully implemented throughout the MPS. This is being overseen by the DPS’s prevention and learning team.