The Met recently came under fire following the release of the documentary Sarah Everard: The Search for Justice.

The Met has failed to uncover a number of scandals. This includes the murder of Everard, where a serving officer used his badge to coerce Sarah into his unmarked car. A team at Charing Cross shared jokes about rape, domestic abuse, sexual assault and more. Many offensive messages were exchanged. In a separate incident, there were in situ photos of two sisters found dead in a London park and the strip-search of a teenage girl at school while she was menstruating. The press published details of these and other incidents, sparking national outrage.

Way back in March 2018, the authorities launched an inquiry into nine linked independent investigations concerning serving police officers from the Met. However these investigations didn’t deter other officers from doing something stupid. As another officer allegedly had sex with a vulnerable woman in a room inside a London police station.

Sarah Everard was failed by The Met

The tragic death of Sarah Everard shook the UK’s female population. It sparked a global conversation about women’s safety, the failures of law enforcement, and societal attitudes towards women. Beyond the immediate outrage and grief, it also unearthed underlying issues with records management systems. Sarah’s murderer ‘arrested’ her using his Police Officer ID to coerce her into his unmarked (rented) car. He had previously been accused of multiple incidents. Yet, no action was taken, despite there being records of these incidents. The records were not utilised as they should have been.

Picture handed out by family of Sarah Everard

Sarah Everard’s murder highlighted significant failures in the management of records related to perpetrators of violence against women. The perpetrator, a serving police officer, had a history of misconduct allegations, including allegations of indecent exposure. However, they failed to effectively record, share, or act upon crucial information about these allegations.

The one thing we must always remember was that she died when she was just walking home. Her murderer is serving a whole life order with no possibility of parole meaning he will die in prison.

The Met failed Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman

Two Met officers admitted to taking and altering images of two sisters who were found dead in a London park. They also shared these images on WhatsApp. As a result of the incident, they were fired from the police.

Picture of Bibaa and Nicole having fun in a park

Admittedly, unlike Sarah Everard, the two officers took no part in the deaths. However, they chose to take 6 pictures of Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman. The officers’ roles were to secure the crime scene and they took selfies of themselves with the young women. They were taking photos on their own personal phones and sharing them with their colleagues. One officer later tried to dismiss the messages as “chit chat” and an attempt to be “funny”. The Independent Office Of Police Conduct (IOPC) described this as “concerning”.

Both officers admitted misconduct in a public office and were jailed in December 2021 for two years and nine months.

The Met’s Systemic Failures

The records management issues in this cases extend beyond just law enforcement. They reflect broader systemic failures in how society handles and tracks individuals with a history of violence or concerning behaviour. These cases underscores the urgent need for comprehensive, transparent, and accountable records management systems across all sectors, particularly in areas related to public safety and law enforcement. I believe we need a records management-related law that mandates the implementation of a records management plan to ensure the continued management because despite Management of Police Information having resulted from the Soham Murders, it’s becoming very obvious that MOPI has not been maintained.

One of the critical aspects that this tragedy highlighted is the lack of centralised and accessible databases for recording and monitoring individuals with a history of violence or concerning behaviour. We need a unified approach to record-keeping allowing agencies to securely and efficiently share relevant information.

The Met’s Future

Moreover, these cases underscore the importance of taking allegations of misconduct seriously, especially within institutions like law enforcement. Authorities must thoroughly investigate, document, and appropriately record instances of misconduct or concerning behaviour to prevent future harm.

In addition, improving records management systems, addressing the societal attitudes and structures that perpetuate violence against women is imperative. The tragedy of Sarah Everard’s death has prompted widespread conversations about misogyny, sexism, and the fear that many women experience daily. We must create a culture where women feel safe to come forward with their experiences and concerns. Authorities must make a record of these concerns and act on those records.

Furthermore, there is a need for greater accountability and transparency within law enforcement agencies. Authorities must thoroughly investigate instances of misconduct or wrongdoing and take appropriate disciplinary action. Authorities should implement mechanisms ensuring that officers deemed unfit to serve are not allowed to remain in positions of authority. Keeping accurate records of such matters is a huge part of this.


The legacy of the women who have lost their lives must be one of meaningful change. It is not enough to simply mourn their loss; we must also work towards a society where tragedies like theirs become a thing of the past. This requires a concerted effort to address the systemic failures in records management, to challenge societal attitudes towards women, and to hold accountable those who perpetrate violence against them.

The records management issues exposed by the deaths of Sarah Everard, Bibaa Henry, and Nicole Smallman serve as a stark reminder of the need for comprehensive reform in how we handle information related to perpetrators of violence against women. It is time to take meaningful action to prevent future tragedies and create a safer and more equitable society for all.


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Crime Files: Systemic Failures in The Met
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