Watchdog probe after Met officers spoke to Owami Davies but let her go

Police watchdog launches probe after it emerged Met officers spoke to missing student nurse Owami Davies within hours of her family reporting her disappearance – but let her go

  • Owami Davies, 24, went missing from her family home in Grays, Essex, on July 4
  • She was last seen in west Croydon on July 7 and officers are still trying to find her
  • Met police spoke to her on July 6 after reports of concern for a woman’s welfare
  • The Independent Office for Police Conduct is now investigating what happened

The police watchdog is investigation the Metropolitan Police after officers spoke to a student nurse who had been reported missing and then let her go.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) is looking into reports officers from Scotland Yard came into contact with student nurse Owami Davies on July 6, two days after she disappeared from her family home in Grays, Essex on July 4.

Ms Davies’s family reported her missing to Essex Police on July 6 and the force handed the investigation to the Metropolitan Police on July 23. 

The 24-year-old, was last seen just after midnight in Derby Road, West Croydon, South London, on July 7 –  one day after police spoke to her.

More than six weeks later, detectives are still trying to trace her whereabouts, with police suggesting she could be riding on trains or in the Tube while dazed and confused.

Five men were arrested in connection with her disappearance earlier this month and have since been released under investigation.

The Met Police has confirmed its officers spoke to Owami Davies in Croydon on July 6, two days after she went missing

She was last seen in Croydon on July 7, with this CCTV image showing her walking north on London Road shortly after midday

On Saturday, the Met revealed its officers had spoken to her on July 6.

In a statement, the force said officers were called to an address in Clarendon Road, Croydon, to concerns over the welfare of a woman.

Police and London Ambulance Service attended the address and spoke to the woman but she told them she did not want help and left. 

She had not yet been marked as a missing person on the police database at the time.

The Met only later established that the woman was Ms Davies’ as a result of their missing person investigation.

The force said its professional standards body was consulted and is not investigating the officers.

Mystery continues to surround the sudden disappearance of Owami Davies, who has been missing for more than six weeks.

July 4: Owami leaves her family home in Grays, Essex, where she lives with her mother Nicol Davies, 46, and brothers

July 6: Police officers speak to Owami at an address in Clarendon Road after being called to reports of a concern for welfare. They let her go after she tells them and paramedics she does not want help and leaves 

July 7: The student nurse is seen in the early hours walking along Derby Road, West Croydon, more than 28 miles away from her home 

July 7: An unconfirmed sighting was then reported to police close to nearby Clarendon Road at around 7am later the same day

July 7: CCTV footage is released by police showing Owami walking along London Road in Croydon, south London, towards the Norbury area at around 12.30pm.

She is seen wearing a dark jacket, red t-shirt, light grey joggers and slider type shoes. She also had a white handbag over her shoulder.

July 31: The Metropolitan Police first issued a public appeal for assistance in the search three weeks after Owami’s disappearance.

August 3: Detectives confirm three men from the Croydon area – 23, 27 and 32 – have been taken into custody over her disappearance.

August 3: The Met releases images of Owami on the night of July 7 inside a sham in Derby Road, Croydon.

The force also appeals to speak to the driver of a white van that was parked in the same road.

It is revealed that she was in the company of a man and crossed the road just as the van pulled out.

Officers begin speaking to the public and handing out appeal leaflets. 

August 4: Another arrest is made in connection with the disappearance, a 23-year-old man at an address in Croydon on suspicion of murder

August 5: Police issue another public appeal more than a month after she went missing from her family home.

Detectives say ‘they have a clearer idea of Owami’s movements’ after extensive CCTV enquiries

August 7: Another police appeal reveals an unconfirmed sighting reported at around 7am in Clarendon Road, West Croydon, on July 7.

A 27-year-old man is arrested on suspicion of kidnap, the fifth arrest. 

August 9: The Met continues to appeal for help from the public in its search after revealing that officers have ‘searched houses and parks, viewed hundreds of hours of CCTV and conducted extensive door-to-door enquires’.

August 10: Police release then new CCTV footage of Owami walking along London Road, Croydon, wearing ‘a distinctive red Adidas top’ 

August 16: Police say they have received reports of ‘someone of Owami’s description being seen in the Croydon area in the days after she was last seen’.

But it said the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) requested the matter to be referred to them.

In a statement, Scotland Yard said: ‘The Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards (DPS) were consulted and as there has been contact with police the IOPC were informed.

‘The IOPC has requested the matter be referred to them.

‘The officers are not subject to any current investigation by the DPS.

‘The interaction recorded on the officers’ body-worn video has been viewed by members of the Independent Advisory Group and Owami’s family to ensure openness and transparency.’

The IOPC said in a statement: ‘We can confirm that we received a referral on August 5 from the Metropolitan Police Service in relation to contact officers had with Owami Davies in Croydon on July 6, after she had been reported missing to Essex Police.

‘We are currently assessing the available information to determine what further action may be required.’

The Met has issued several appeals for information over Ms Davies’ whereabouts and arrested five people – two on suspicion of murder and three on suspicion of kidnap – who were all later released on bail.

The force issued a fresh appeal at the beginning of this week, saying Ms Davies could be in Croydon and ‘in need of help’.

On Thursday, British Transport Police (BTP) tweeted that the 24-year-old could still regularly be taking trains, may appear dazed or confused and may be seeking to engage with women travelling alone.

BTP wrote: ‘We know Owami Davies, 24, regularly uses the rail and tube network to travel from Grays, Essex to the Croydon area. Often via West Ham and West Croydon stations. @metpoliceuk are looking at dates from 7th July 2022 onwards.

‘Owami may still be regularly travelling by rail in a vulnerable state, appearing dazed or confused and possibly seeking to engage with other lone female travellers.’

The Met added: ‘Owami has been depressed and in the absence of her medication may use alcohol to relieve her depression.’

Members of the public have reported a number of potential sightings of the 24-year-old in the Croydon area and police have been scouring thousands of hours of CCTV trying to verify whether the sightings were her.

The PA news agency has contacted the IOPC and Essex Police for comment.

Ms Davies’ distraught mother Nicol has previously pleaded for any witnesses to come forward and officers are growing increasingly concerned for Miss Davies’ safety.

At the time she vanished, Miss Davies was described as ‘vulnerable’ and had been depressed. She had recently secured a job at St Thomas and St Guy’s Hospital upon her graduation.

Her mother, Nicol Davies, 46, has made repeated emotional appeals to help find her daughter.

She said: ‘It is obvious that someone out there has seen something, someone out there knows something, someone out there heard something.

‘I am begging, I am asking for the public’s help, from the people, to say if you know, if you have heard or seen her, or she passed you, please speak up.

‘All we really want is to find her, all we really need is for her to come home or to know her whereabouts.’

She continued: ‘I sit here as a desperate mother at the mercy of anyone that knows or heard something to help me find my baby, that’s all I’m asking, just help to find her.

‘Or her, if she’s somewhere and hears this, to please come home. We miss her so much, her brothers and myself miss her, need her.

Nicol Davies, 46, called on anyone who has any information about the whereabouts of her missing daughter to come forward. She said: ‘I sit here as a desperate mother at the mercy of anyone that knows or heard something to help me find my baby, that’s all I’m asking’

‘We are not complete, we just want her to come home and, again, if she is listening she should know she’s not in trouble.’

The Met’s Specialist Crime Command is leading the investigation into her disappearance, and has brought in support from the National Crime Agency.

Anyone with information can call police on 020 8721 4622, or to remain anonymous contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 or online.

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