'Sick of platitudes': Mother of murdered sisters tells Met Police to 'get the rot out'

3 November 2021, 07:52 | Updated: 3 November 2021, 07:55

By Sophie Barnett

The mother of two murdered sisters whose bodies were photographed by Met Police officers has told LBC she is "sick of platitudes" as she called for an overhaul of the "rotten" force.

Two Metropolitan Police officers, PC Deniz Jaffer, 47, and PC Jamie Lewis, 33, admitted taking and sharing photographs of the murder scene of Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman in a park in Wembley last year.

They also admitted distributing the images over WhatsApp and superimposing one of their faces onto the sick pictures.

Mina Smallman phoned in to LBC's Tom Swarbrick show on Tuesday to discuss the Met's handling of the murder of her two daughters.

Asked about Dame Cressida Dick's statement on the case, Ms Smallman said she felt her apology was a "tick box" exercise.

Read more: Teenager who murdered sisters in London park in 'pact with demon' jailed for life

Read more: Danyal Hussein guilty of murdering two sisters he stabbed to death 'in demonic pact'

She said Dame Cressida's job is "to protect the brand" and we must stop people from taking on a position where this is their most important priority.

"She came to see us when the selfie thing came out," Ms Smallman explained.

"She didn't apologise, she said 'I can't comment on anything because it's out of our hands now, it's with the IOPC'.

"She came as a mark of respect, but I just saw it as a tick box."

Tom asked Ms Smallman what she wants to hear from Dame Cressida, and what she would feel was "authentic".

"I think all of us are just so sick of platitudes," she replied.

"It's all about, well, okay it's going to be messy, you know when something comes out that's horrid and everybody is talking about it and it's in all of the news.

"They have worked out, well, in three days time it'll be all gone."

Read more: Met offers apology to family of sisters murdered in London park

"There's no sense of shame," added Tom.

Mina replied: "No, no, no - nothing.

"To get it in perspective, they are in the minority, not just in the Met but across all the police forces. They are in the minority but what's happened is they have got such a grip on the culture that police officers, they don't agree with what's going on but they feel silenced.

"The internal code is what you would want in the army - you stick by your brother - which has become corrupted. And you never grass on your brother.

"Now I taught secondary for nearly 20 years and I spent a lot of my time speaking to students about being a grass, and explaining that the only people who benefit from keeping silenced is the bad people. And that's where we are with the Met."

Speaking outside court on Tuesday, Ms Smallman appealed to Dame Cressida to "get the rot out" of the force.

She said: "You need to drill down and get the rot out once and for all. You are not above the law, you are not going to be protected."

Pc Deniz Jaffer and Pc Jamie Lewis were assigned to protect the scene after the sisters were found dead in bushes in a north-west London park last year.

Instead, they breached the cordon to take "inappropriate" and "unauthorised" photographs of the bodies, which were then shared on WhatsApp.

Jaffer took four photographs, Lewis took two and one of the images sent to a female colleague had Lewis's face superimposed onto it, it can now be reported.

At the Old Bailey on Tuesday, the officers admitted committing misconduct in a public office.

The pair, who were attached to the Met's North East command unit, were both suspended from duty following their arrests on June 22 last year.

Satanist Danyal Hussein, 19, was last week jailed for life with a minimum term of 35 years for murdering 46-year-old Ms Henry and 27-year-old Ms Smallman.

The victims had been celebrating Ms Henry's birthday in Fryent Country Park, Wembley, when they were viciously stabbed by Hussein.

Following the guilty pleas, Dame Cressida issued a further apology to the family.

She said: "What former Pc Jaffer and Pc Lewis chose to do that day was utterly unprofessional, disrespectful and deeply insensitive. I know that is the view of colleagues across the Met who utterly condemn this behaviour."

IOPC regional director Sal Naseem called for change within the force, saying the officers' behaviour was not a one-off.