Three Metropolitan police officers who received horrific pictures taken from the scene where two black sisters lay murdered have been allowed to keep their jobs.
The three constables were in a WhatsApp group that received the photos taken by two colleagues who were later jailed for their actions.
Deniz Jaffer and Jamie Lewis were ordered to guard the scene in a London park where Nicole Smallman, 27, and Bibaa Henry, 46, were found stabbed to death in June 2020.
Instead they took photos, including some showing the bodies, and shared them in two WhatsApp groups, calling the victims “dead birds”. One group contained 41 police officers and was “called the A team”, the other contained friends of Jaffer.
Three PCs faced a misconduct meeting on Wednesday and each received a written warning after failing to report the images to their bosses.
All three were based within the Met’s north-east command and had admitted misconduct.
The former Met chief superintendent Del Babu said the punishment was too light: “If you have something as horrific as pictures of dead women taken, the individuals should be reported.
“It is more appropriate for them not to be in the police service. The fact they remain is worrying. It sends out the wrong message. It will only add to the heartache of the family. It does not reflect the seriousness of what they did.”
Jaffer, 47, and Lewis, 33, were each jailed in December for two years and nine months. They had pleaded guilty to misconduct in public office after the Guardian revealed the scandal that rocked Britain’s largest force in 2020. Jaffer resigned from the Met and Lewis was sacked.
The Met said the three officers who received the written warnings were sometimes based at Forest Gate station in east London. The force said the level of sanction, was decided by the Independent Office for Police Conduct.
The Met said: “Misconduct meetings were held on Wednesday 22 June for three PCs from the north-east command unit who were investigated by the IOPC for failing to report inappropriate photographs at the scene of a double murder in Wembley.
“These meetings, as governed by national police conduct regulations, were not held in public. Led by a senior officer, the meetings were attended by the IOPC and a representative for the family. The three officers, who had admitted misconduct, each received a written warning.”
Commander Paul Brogden of the Met said: “These matters, along with other high-profile cases in the Met, have been an urgent catalyst for change. We’re working hard to begin rebuilding the public’s trust and confidence that police officers will protect and respect them.”
Danyal Hussein was jailed for life with a minimum of 35 years for murdering Henry and Smallman.
Henry, a senior social worker, and Smallman, a photographer, had been celebrating the elder sister’s birthday in the park. After the celebration ended they stayed behind and were attacked. They were reported missing the next day and a search by family and friends led to the partner of one of the sisters finding their bodies.
The Met’s handling of the case has been condemned by the IOPC and the force has apologized for failings.