Retired police boss: Sacking Met officers 'takes too long'

Det Ch Supt Richard Tucker

Richard Tucker has now retired from his role as North East BCU commander - Credit: Michael Cox

A retired police chief has urged the Met to speed up its misconduct process, saying the force "needs to lower the standard to get people out".

Former Det Ch Supt Richard Tucker was head of North East BCU, which covers Newham, before his retirement last month.

Deniz Jaffer, 47, from Hornchurch, and Jamie Lewis, 33, from Essex, were both serving police constables within the command when they took photos of the dead bodies of Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman in June 2020.

Bibaa Henry (left) and Nicole Smallman (right) 

Bibaa Henry (left) and Nicole Smallman (right) - Credit: PA

The sisters had been found stabbed to death in Fryent Country Park and the two officers had been assigned to protect the crime scene.

They were jailed last December after admitting misconduct in public office.

Lewis was sacked by the Met in November while Jaffer had already resigned.

Mr Tucker told this paper that the incident was "one of the darkest days" of his policing career.

Former police officers PC Jamie Lewis and PC Deniz Jaffer arriving at Westminster Magistrates' Court

Jamie Lewis and Deniz Jaffer - Credit: PA

He said: "They were our officers who I'm in charge of and they took photos of murder victims and I'm thinking, 'in my 36 years I've come across some really, really bad police officers who have no place in the Met Police', but I couldn't get my head around that.

"When we let down people in a really extreme way, it just dents us."

Mr Tucker, who is a governor at The Campion School in Hornchurch, said misconduct cases must be dealt with quicker "whatever the decision is".

"We need to lower the standard to get people out of the police because it takes too long," he added.

Most Read

"Let's speed up because some people don't deserve to be in the police."

A Met Police spokesperson referred this paper to comments made by Sir Stephen House, acting Met commissioner, when he was questioned by a parliamentary committee in April.

He admitted misconduct investigations take "too long" and said: "We have reinforced our professional standards units with I think 100 extra officers to try to speed things up but they do take too long.

"The reality is that chief constables all around the UK face a situation where they have officers in their organisations that they do not want and they cannot get rid of.

"They either cannot get rid of them quickly enough or they cannot exit them from the organisation at all because we are not in control of some of those decisions anymore."