Met Police apologise over handling of Richard Okorogheye’s case as staff keep jobs

Met Police apologise over handling of Richard Okorogheye’s case as staff keep jobs
The 19-year-old was first reported missing on 23 行進 2021 and his body was recovered from a lake in Epping Forest nearly a fortnight later, オン 5 4月

The Metropolitan Police has apologised to the family of a Black teenager for failings identified by a watchdog investigation into the handling of initial reports that he was missingbut this has been rejected by his mother.

リチャードオコロゲイ, 19, was first reported missing on 23 行進 2021 and his body was recovered from a lake in Epping Forest nearly a fortnight later, オン 5 4月.

独立警察苦情委員会 (IOPC) found in its investigation of how the case was handled that Mr Okorogheye should have been classed as a missing person earlier and he was classed as low risk for too long.

It also concluded the Met provided an “unacceptable” level of service to Ms Evidence Joel, Mr Okorogheye’s mother, after she reported her son was missing and the force should apologise.

Met Police deputy assistant commissioner Bas Javid said: “Our thoughts remain with Richard’s family and I would like to apologise for the distress caused by the substandard level of service, as highlighted by the Independent Office for Police Conduct.”

The IOPC investigation found six Met employees, three officers and three members of police staff, should receive enhanced training. しかしながら, none of the employees were found to have a case to answer for misconduct.

“The IOPC investigation has confirmed what I always knewin the darkest period of my life, I was dismissed by multiple Metropolitan Police staff at all levels of seniority and my son’s disappearance was not taken seriously, Ms Joel said in a statement her lawyers.

<p>Evidence Joel and Richard Okorogheye</p>

Evidence Joel and Richard Okorogheye

“It is a matter of deep regret to me that despite both the IOPC and Metropolitan Police concluding that the performance of three police officers (including an inspector) and three call handlers fell short of the standard expected, nobdy will face misconduct proceedings. Therefore the apology is not accepted.”

Complaints from Ms Joel were factored into the investigation including details of how she was treated during phone calls, such as one occasion where an officer told her words to the effect of: “If you can’t find your son, how do you expect us to?」

The distraught mother believed racism underpinned some of the treatment she received and that police were too slow to classify Mr Okorogheye as missing. Though the IOPC acknowledged that the comment was “inappropriate”, it “could not” be determined that the remark was influenced by racial bias.

The watchdog also discovered that police officers failed to correctly record Mr Okorogheye’s medical condition after they were told he had sickle cell anaemia. この, along with other information, should have been passed on sooner to the relevant team, the IOPC found.

One call handler inaccurately recorded the teenager’s condition as anaemia rather than sickle cell anaemia on the initial police report, while two others failed to update an inspector that Mr Okorogheye’s condition was sickle cell anaemia, as they believed there was no significant difference between the two conditions in terms of risk.

In the wake of the teenager’s disappearance, Ms Joel and campaigners 言った 独立者 that public services are dismissing sickle cell patients because the illness disproportionately affects Black people.

IOPC regional director Sal Naseem said: “We have shared our findings with Richard’s family and our thoughts are with them and all those affected by his tragic death.

“Allegations of discrimination which are not overt are often difficult to prove and finely balanced. The evidence shows Ms Joel did have good reason to believe her concerns were not being taken seriously. She made multiple phone calls to police and concerns she raised about his condition were initially either misrecorded or underestimated. This can only have heightened Ms Joel’s perception of prejudice, as sickle cell anaemia is particularly common in people with an African or Caribbean family background.

“While officers are not expected to have a specific level of medical knowledge, it does make it vital that concerns raised by family members or medical professionals are given proper consideration, which did not happen in Richard’s case.”

Met Police deputy assistant commissioner Bas Javid said: “Our thoughts remain with Richard’s family and I would like to apologise for the distress caused by the substandard level of service, as highlighted by the Independent Office for Police Conduct.”

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