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Two Met Police officers investigated for misconduct over investigation into Richard Okorogheye’s disappearance

Written by on 07/09/2021

Two Metropolitan Police officers are being investigated for possible misconduct over the investigation into the disappearance of Richard Okorogheye, the police watchdog has said.

Lawyers for the 19-year-old‘s family claimed one officer failed to pass on the fact Mr Okorogheye suffered from sickle cell anaemia to the missing persons team after being contacted by his GP.

The other is facing allegations they failed to take the condition into account when assessing his risk level.

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Mother’s campaign for sickle cell anaemia

Mr Okorogheye’s mother, Evidence Joel, said: “This development in the IOPC investigation confirms what I have known all along – both Richard’s GP and I were dismissed by numerous officers and staff at the Metropolitan Police.”

The Oxford Brookes student had seemingly not taken his daily medication for sickle cell disease when he left his home in west London on 22 March.

His body was found in a lake in Epping Forest on 5 April and police are yet to determine a cause of death.

A post-mortem found no evidence of physical trauma or assault.

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At the time, Ms Joel told Sky News she believed she was not taken seriously by officers because of her race.

She contacted police the day after her son vanished but he was not officially recorded as missing until 8am on 24 March.

New CCTV image of Richard Okorogheye, who went missing from south London. Pic: Met Police
Image: Richard Okorogheye went missing from his home in south London. Pic: Met Police

A spokesperson for the IOPC said: “We can confirm that we have served misconduct notices on two Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) officers in connection with our investigation of complaints by Richard Okorogheye’s mother about the way police handled reports that her son was missing.

“This is in addition to the misconduct notices which were served on two MPS staff members in July as part of the same investigation.

“The serving of misconduct notices does not necessarily mean that disciplinary proceedings will follow.”

Two members of the Metropolitan Police civilian staff are already under investigation over potential failings in passing on information relating to Mr Okorogheye’s disappearance.

 Sky News

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