The police watchdog is considering whether to investigate Scotland Yard after officers contacted a student nurse who had been reported missing.
Owami Davies, 24, of Grays, Essex, left her family home on 4 July and was last seen shortly after midnight in Derby Road, West Croydon, South London on 7 July, but not it found.
Davies’ family reported his disappearance to Essex Police on July 6, and the police turned the investigation over to the Metropolitan Police on July 23.
On Saturday, the Met revealed that its officials spoke with Davies on July 6.
In a statement, the force said officers were called to an address in Clarendon Road, Croydon, due to concerns for a woman’s well-being.
Police attended and called the London Ambulance Service before speaking to the woman.
However, she told them she didn’t want any help and left the address before the ambulance service could answer.
Mrs. Owami had not been marked as missing in the police database at the time.
The Met only later established that the woman was Mrs. Davies as a result of his missing person investigation.
The force said its professional standards body has been consulted and is not investigating the officers.
But he said the Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC) had requested that the matter be referred to him.
In a statement, Scotland Yard said: “The Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards (DPS) has been consulted and as there has been contact with the police, the IOPC has been informed.
“The IOPC requested that the matter be referred to them.
“Officers are not subject to any current DPS investigation.
“The interaction captured in the officer corps video was 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 reference on August 5th from the Metropolitan Police Service regarding the contact officers had with Owami Davies in Croydon on July 6th after she was reported missing to NYPD. Essex.
“We are currently evaluating available information to determine what additional actions may be needed.”
The Met issued several appeals for information on Davies’ whereabouts and arrested five people – two on suspicion of murder and three on suspicion of kidnapping – who were later released on bail.
The force issued a new appeal earlier this week, saying Davies could be in Croydon and “in need of help”.
On Thursday, the British Transport Police (BTP) tweeted that the 24-year-old may still be regularly taking trains, may appear dazed or confused and may be trying to engage with women traveling alone.
BTP wrote: “We know that Owami Davies, 24, regularly uses the rail and subway network to travel from #Grays, Essex to the #Croydon area. Often through #WestHam and #WestCroydon stations. @metpoliceuk is looking at dates starting July 7, 2022.
“Owami may still be regularly traveling by train in a vulnerable state, looking dazed or confused and possibly looking to engage with other lonely travelers.”
The Met added: “Owami is depressed and, in the absence of her medication, may use alcohol to alleviate her depression.”
Essex Police said in a statement that following the initiation of the missing persons investigation, “it became clear that a significant number of investigations to locate Owami were in London and therefore the investigation to find her was formally transferred to the Met. on the 23rd of July”.
The force explained: “When someone is reported missing, an assessment is carried out to identify the risk of that person suffering harm, including age, current mental health and information about their vulnerability to exploitation.
“This risk is regularly reviewed during the investigation.
“A media appeal is often not the first investigative tool an officer leading the search will look at, and a decision on whether and when to launch a media appeal can be impacted on what other investigative lines of investigation are available and the desires of the family.
“Issuing a photo of someone and publicly declaring that they are missing, just because they are reported missing, indicates that that person has a vulnerability.
“If we can locate someone without exposing them, and that vulnerability, to that level of public scrutiny, we try to do it.
“However, this is also balanced against the immediate identified risk to that person’s well-being.”