Met officers given misconduct notices over disappearance of Richard Okorogheye

Two Metropolitan police officers have been given misconduct notices over potential failings in the disappearance of teenager Richard Okorogheye.

The student, 19, went missing after leaving his home in Ladbroke Grove, west Londen, aan 22 Maart.

His body was discovered in a lake 20 miles away in Epping Forest, Essex, just over a week later.

The officers may have failed to pass on “new and relevant information” to staff making missing person assessments, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) gesê, after conducting an investigation.

An IOPC spokesperson said: “We can confirm that we have served misconduct notices on two members of Metropolitan police service staff as there is an indication that they may have failed to pass on new and relevant information relating to Richard Okorogheye to the team responsible for conducting missing person assessments.

“The serving of misconduct notices does not mean that disciplinary proceedings will follow.”

The IOPC said in April it was investigating complaints by Okorogheye’s mother, Evidence Joel, about the way the Met handled reports that her son was missing.

The first-year business and IT undergraduate at Oxford Brookes University was reported missing by his mother on 23 Maart. She made further calls to the Met the following day.

During a meeting with IOPC investigators, Joel said she wished to complain about the way in which she was initially treated by the police and how her reports about the disappearance of her son were handled.

The IOPC said at the time that its investigation would address these complaints, including whether ethnicity played a part in the way the initial reports of his disappearance were handled.

Joel previously has criticised the Met’s handling of the case, claiming her concerns were not “taken seriously” following her son’s disappearance.

The community nurse said she was told by the force that Okorogheye, who suffered from sickle cell disease and has been shielding since March 2020 due to the pandemic, was not considered “high risk” until he had been missing for six days.

In Maart, Joel told Sky News: “I told a police officer that my son was missing, please help me find him, and she said, ‘If you can’t find your son, how do you expect police officers to find your son for you?’

“I was expecting assurance. My son was missing and it broke my heart.”

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