Police chiefs face an inquiry into whether they properly investigated a claim of indecent exposure, in South London, involving the suspect in the alleged murder of Sarah Everard, just days before the marketing executive disappeared.
A cop has been arrested on suspicion of the kidnap and murder of Everard. He has also been arrested on suspicion of an indecent exposure involving another woman, in an incident that will be investigated by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).
The alleged indecent exposure happened on 28 February, at a fast food restaurant in South London.
Everard disappeared after leaving a friend’s house in the south of the capital at about 9pm on 3 March and beginning a 50-minute walk home.
The IOPC said in a statement: “The IOPC has started an independent investigation into whether Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) officers responded appropriately to a report of indecent exposure.
“The IOPC’s investigation follows a conduct referral from the MPS in relation to two officers, received last night, which is linked to four other referrals. They are all connected to the arrest of a serving MPS officer on suspicion of kidnap, murder and a separate allegation of indecent exposure.
“Our investigation will look at the actions of the MPS after police received a report on 28 February (2021) that a man had exposed himself at a fast food restaurant in South London.”
The IOPC will investigate the claims about the indecent exposure allegation independently.
The Met, Britain’s biggest police force, was stunned by the news that the suspect was one of their own serving officers.
The inquiry into Everard’s disappearance was continuing on Thursday night, with searches continuing in Ashford, Kent at a site where police believe they have found human remains, which are yet to be formally identified.
Sarah’s family yesterday paid tribute to the 33-year-old marketing executive.
The suspect was arrested at his home in Deal, in Kent, on Tuesday on suspicion of kidnapping Everard, while a woman in her 30s was held on suspicion of assisting an offender. She has been released on bail to return to a police station on a date in mid-April.
On Wednesday evening, the Met commissioner, Dame Cressida Dick, said the human remains, which have not yet been formally identified, had been found in an area of woodland about 20 miles west of Deal and the suspect was further arrested on suspicion of murder.
On Thursday, it emerged the suspect had been taken to hospital after suffering head injuries while in police custody.
He was alone in his cell at Wandsworth police station, when the incident happened.
His condition later improved and following treatment and a brain scan he was later returned to custody.
Scotland Yard said he was discharged back to his cell but refused to release any further details. The Met has referred the incident to the IOPC which says it will “determine what further action may be required”.
A Reclaim These Streets vigil, scheduled to meet at the Clapham Common bandstand at 6pm tomorrow, Saturday, in tribute to Sarah, has been told by the Met it would be in breach of Covid-19 restrictions.
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