Two police officers have kept their jobs after admitting to stopping at a McDonald's when they should have been responding to a call about a vulnerable young woman who was later found dead in her own home.
The two Met officers, PCs Gavin Bateman and Tony Stephenson, were both given final written warnings on Tuesday after a two-day misconduct hearing.
On 16 April 2015, the pair were on patrol together when at 12:04am the London Ambulance Service referred a call to them regarding a woman, 22-year-old Fahima Begum, who was feared to be suicidal and was failing to answer her door.
The case was classed "S", for significant – the second-highest category – meaning the officers had a maximum of 60 minutes to respond but are duty-bound to do so as soon as possible.
But instead of travelling straight to Begum, they stopped at a McDonald's to finish some paperwork from a previous case and buy cups of tea. They found her dead at her home at 12:40am.
An inquest at Poplar Coroner's Court in November 2015 ruled that Begum's death was suicide and found that she had died before the 999 call was made.
But the Met's hearing found that both officers had breached the professional standards of the force by not responding as soon as possible. The pair had previously admitted to misconduct.
The Met agreed to implement four recommendations from the Independent Police Complaints Commission in light of the case, relating to standard operating procedures.
IPPC found there were no grounds for misconduct charges in relation to the call handlers who referred the case.
Patrick Smith is a senior reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
Contact Patrick Smith at email@example.com.
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