Brent's community lead offers condolences to murdered sisters' families

Sisters Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman were very close and popular

Sisters Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman were very close and popular - Credit: Met Police

Brent's community safety lead has said an apology is 'no substitute for action' after the Met was found to have failed two sisters who were murdered in a Kingsbury park.

Cllr Promise Knight has sent her condolences to Mina Smallman and her family following the findings of the Independent Office for Police Conduct’s (IOPC) report.

Cllr Promise Knight, lead member for community safety and engagement at Brent Council

Cllr Promise Knight, lead member for community safety and engagement at Brent Council - Credit: Brent Council

The document stated the "inadequate service" after Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman were declared missing on June 6 2020.

The sisters were found the following day by Nicole's distraught partner in Fryent Country Park.

The Met apologised for its handling of the case with commissioner Cressida Dick saying that "if we had responded better we may have saved their friends and family immeasurable pain".

Cllr Knight, who represents Stonebridge, said: "An apology from the police is due, but it is no substitute for action.

"As a council, we are committed to highlighting the experience of women and girls in conversations with partners, and to do our part to make addressing the underlying problems in the system a priority."

She said women and girls must start reporting crimes against them.

"Clearly, recent events are unlikely to inspire confidence in the women and girls of this borough who may be considering coming forward, and especially Black and Asian women. But I urge you not to be discouraged.

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"We know that sexual crimes, from cat-calling and unwanted touching, to rape, are vastly under-reported.

"And yet it is so important if we are to build a clearer picture of perpetrators.

"Those reports also help us make the argument for investing in the public services needed to address these issues in a meaningful way."

She said the council was currently consulting with partners on ways the community to anonymously report places they do not feel safe so they can "develop better ways" of addressing high risk areas.

During November the council is planning a community forum to coincide with the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence, giving local women and girls a chance to share their views and experiences.

More details will be available on Brent Council's website nearer the time.


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