SCOTLAND Yard is to be investigated over its failure to deal with an allegation of two acts of indecent exposure by a serving police officer, who is now suspected of murdering Sarah Everard just days after these two incidents.
The police watchdog will consider if Metropolitan Police officers ‘responded appropriately’ to the alleged indecent exposure incidents which preceded the murder by a number of days.
Marketing executive Everard, 33, was last seen in Clapham, south London, on 3 March.
Police looking for the missing marketing executive said human remains had been found in woodland in Kent on Wednesday.
Yesterday, they were identified as the remains of Sarah Everard.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said it had launched an investigation into the murder of Everard after receiving five referrals from the Met Police in relation to its handling of the case.
The watchdog says it will examine how officers responded after receiving a report that a man had exposed himself at a fast food restaurant in south London on 28 February – three days before Everard’s disappearance.
The other referrals to the IOPC were over the arrest of a serving officer on suspicion both of kidnap and murder, the Met’s actions after Everard was reported missing, and the injury of the suspect while in custody.
The arrested man, who is in his 40s and works with the Met’s Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command, was taken to hospital on Thursday suffering from head injuries.
He was treated, discharged and returned to the police station where he is being held after an application to extend his detention was granted at Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court.
The Met later said he had sustained the injury while alone in his cell and received immediate first aid.
Everard was last seen on 3 March walking alone down a main road in Clapham at 21:30 GMT, with police saying it was unclear whether she reached her home in Brixton.
In a statement, her family appealed for more information to ‘help solve this terrible crime’.
A woman in her 30s, who was arrested in Kent on suspicion of assisting an offender, has been released on bail until mid-April.
Met Police Assistant Commissioner Nick Ephgrave describes the arrest as ‘shocking and deeply disturbing’.
Organisers of a ‘Reclaim These Streets’ vigil planned for Saturday evening on Clapham Common claim the police say it cannot go ahead because of pandemic lockdown restrictions, and are preparing to go to the High Court.
Human rights lawyers representing Reclaim These Streets have now written to the Met challenging its interpretation of coronavirus legislation, the statement adds.
‘Their view is that the Metropolitan Police are wrong in their interpretation of the law and that socially distant, outdoor gathering(s) of this kind are allowed under the current lockdown regulations, when read together with the Human Rights Act,’ their letter says.