Published: 16:14, 28 June 2020
| Updated: 18:58, 30 June 2020
A father says he has lost faith in police investigating the deaths of his daughter and her half-sister amid claims officers posed for selfies next to their bodies.
Sisters Nicole Smallman, 27, and Bibaa Henry, 46, are believed to have been stabbed to death by a stranger at Fryent Country Park in Wembley, London, in the early hours of June 6.
Two police officers sent to guard the crime scene are alleged to have taken "non-official and "inappropriate" photos next to the victims before sharing them with a "small number of others" on a Whatsapp group, including members of the public.
They were arrested on Monday by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) on suspicion of misconduct in public office.
Senior officers from the Met and the IOPC visited the parents of the victims, Chris and Wilhelmina Smallman, from Ramsgate, to inform them of the allegations and to confirm an independent investigation had been launched.
The probe will also consider whether the officer's actions were "motivated or influenced by race".
But Bibaa’s father, Herman Henry, former boxer, told The Times he had lost faith in the police's ability to trace the killer.
Asked whether he had any confidence in the separate police inquiry into misconduct he added: "No. And I am sickened by what has happened with the police.
"We look up to the police to be better than this."
Mum Wilhelmina, known as Mina, told the BBC the pictures "dehumanised" her daughters.
“This has taken our grief to another place,” she said.
The 63-year-old hit out at the "toxic" met culture, adding: “If ever we needed an example of how toxic it has become, those police officers felt so safe, so untouchable, that they felt they could take photographs of dead black girls and send them on.
“It speaks volumes of the ethos that runs through the Metropolitan Police.”
Scotland Yard said its directorate of professional standards was told last week about allegations that “non-official and inappropriate photographs” had been taken at the murder scene.
The IOPC said the Met was “handling matters involving those members of the public who may have received those images" and that it had launched an inquiry.
The watchdog has since confirmed it has launched a separate investigation into the Met's handling of the case.
It will look at how officers dealt with the calls from the sisters' family and friends after they went missing, amid concerns the case was bungled.
Nicole and Bibaa, who lived in Harrow and Brent respectively, were part of a group of people that congregated in the park after 7pm on Friday, June 5, to celebrate the older sister's birthday.
Police say the pair were the only ones who remained at the park at midnight.
“I knew instantly why they didn’t care."
They were reported missing late on Saturday, after failing to return home. No one has been arrested for their murder.
But Mrs Smallman has claimed the police did not immediately respond to initial reports the sisters were missing and co-ordinated her own search operation they weekend they died.
She told the BBC: “I knew instantly why they didn’t care. They didn’t care because they looked at my daughter’s address and thought they knew who she was.
“A black woman who lives on a council estate.”
Commander Paul Brogden said: “I am horrified and disgusted by the nature of these allegations; a sentiment which will be shared by colleagues throughout the organisation.
"If true, these actions are morally reprehensible and anyone involved will be robustly dealt with. I am limited in terms of being able to comment further about the matter at this time in order not to compromise the IOPC investigation.
"This deeply disturbing information will no doubt have created additional trauma for a family who are already grieving the devastating loss of two loved ones.
"I can only start to imagine the impact of this; and I’d like to sincerely apologise to them for this further burden."
Police are appealing for anyone with information to come forward and call on 020 8721 4205 or Crimestoppers 0800 555111.
More by this authorSean Delaney