Mother whose daughter died in park criticises police ‘inhumane behaviour’ after officers ignored plea

A mother whose daughter died in a park in west London has accused the Metropolitan Police of “deplorable inhumane behaviour” after they ignored a plea to help her daughter late at night.

Natalie Shotter, a mother-of-three, was found dead in Southall Park in Ealing on 17 July 2021 after being allegedly sexually assaulted and attacked in the park.

Ms Shotter, an NHS worker who was 37-years-old, died after a member of the public alerted two police officers to fears for her welfare but the officers failed to help her or inform their colleagues.

Dr Cas Shotter Weetman, her mother, told The Independent the officers were “derelict in their duty” as she branded their decision not to help her daughter a “catastrophic system failure”.

“If the police had helped her, Natalie might still be alive,” her mother, a lead advanced practitioner in cardiology, said.

Last week, Dr Shotter Weetman found out even though a female investigator advised the officers to go through misconduct proceedings, a senior male officer barred this, concluding officers would only have to go through an “unsatisfactory performance” procedure.

Penning a letter to Sir Mark Rowley, the new Metropolitan Police commissioner, exclusively shared with The Independent, Dr Shotter Weetman said: “We know the two police officers were investigated internally by the Directorate of Professional Standards of the Metropolitan police, much to the family’s dismay.

“We have in the last week been given their conclusion which quite frankly is appalling and an absolute insult. The officers will not face misconduct proceedings.”

In the letter, she explained she had complained to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), the police watchdog, to appeal the decision. She also called for Sir Mark to look into how this investigation was carried out and how the Met came to the conclusion not to carry out misconduct proceedings.

Speaking to The Independent in an interview, Dr Shotter Weetman said: “My question is why didn’t at least one of them go to help a lone female late at night in the park?

“Why did they not ask for a unit to be dispatched if they couldn’t help? Why did they not document these events? They didn’t log a police report. It is more than sickening.

“They didn’t tell a senior police officer either. What they did was despicable. She was out of sight, out of mind. They drove off.”

She said she thinks the police officers are still working now as she noted the family were forced to wait 15 months for the results of an internal review into the officer’s conduct.

“The waiting has been unbearable,” she added. “It is like a cloud hanging over us. How can you possibly move on? We haven’t been able to really grieve. The waiting game has been inexplicably hard.”

She said Natalie’s children, who are aged three, 16 and 17, are simply “trying to manage day by day” as she noted her daughter had been incredibly close to her children, bringing them up on her own for a significant period.

In a letter penned to London’s mayor Sadiq Khan, also shared exclusively with The Independent, Dr Shotter Weetman said: “As you are well aware, there have sadly been too many cases of women being raped and murdered in London parks. Enough so that even the mention of a woman in danger in a park should be immediately taken seriously. This was not the case.”

Andrea Simon, director of the End Violence Against Women Coalition (EVAW), said: “At the heart of this is a failure to protect a vulnerable woman. We are told that tackling violence against women and girls is a priority but we have yet to see actions taken by the criminal justice system result in meaningful change for victims and their families.

“More than 600 officers are being investigated by the Met for misconduct and criminality. This is a shocking rap sheet.

“But investigations into cases of police misconduct and police-perpetrated abuse are nowhere near good enough and too often allow officers to evade accountability. We need root and branch reform of the way we deal with misconduct, vetting, ethics and standards in all our police forces.”

Related Articles

Bir cavab yazın

Sizin e-poçt ünvanınız dərc edilməyəcəkdir. Gərəkli sahələr * ilə işarələnmişdir

Back to top button