RICHARD OKOROGHEYE : MISCONDUCT NOTICES SERVED ON TWO METROPOLITAN POLICE OFFICERS (7 SEPTEMBER 2021)
RICHARD OKOROGHEYE:MISCONDUCT NOTICES SERVED ON TWO METROPOLITAN POLICE OFFICERS
The Independent Office of Police Conduct ‘IOPC’ has served misconduct notices on two
Metropolitan police officers (in addition to two civilian staff), on the basis that there is an indication
that these officers may have failed to pass on new and relevant information relating to Richard
Okorogheye to the team responsible for conducting missing person assessments.
Richard’s mother, Evidence Joel, has been informed that a Metropolitan police officer initially
decided to consider Richard as not being missing. Regardless of the claims about whether or not the
police had been informed that Richard suffered only from Anaemia, and not Sickle Cell Anaemia, the
IOPC understands that there is an ‘indication’ that this officer may have actually been aware of
Richard’s condition, and either failed to consider it as part of their original risk assessment (in which
we understand Richard was assessed as ‘low risk’), or did not amend their risk assessment when
they later received this information. In light of this, the IOPC has served this police officer with a
Notice of Investigation.
Whilst Richard was missing, our client contacted Richard’s GP for assistance, hoping that the police
would not ignore or dismiss an indication from the GP in the same way as she felt her complaints
had been. Richard’s GP contacted the Metropolitan police control room. Details of this call were then
passed on to the team looking into Richard’s disappearance. The police officer who received details
of this call did not update the missing person’s investigation file. In light of this, the IOPC has served
this police officer with a Notice of Investigation.
Richard’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. In addition to dismissing my concerns about the disappearance of my son, a
young black man, there was clearly either a lack of understanding about Sickle Cell disease or a
reckless disregard for Richard’s condition – a condition which disproportionately affects individuals
from African and Caribbean backgrounds. Although I welcome this update from the IOPC, I remain
deeply disappointed and concerned with the Metropolitan police’s treatment of me and the
underlying reasons for this.”
The IOPC has now served misconduct notices on a total of four Metropolitan police staff – two police
officers and two civilian staff. There is an indication that all four failed to pass on new and relevant
information relating to Richard’s disappearance. The IOPC investigation continues and is expected
to conclude later this year.
Evidence Joel is represented by Tolu Agbelusi and Tara Mulcair of Birnberg Peirce.
7 SEPTEMBER 2021