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Police officers stopped to buy tea at McDonald’s on way to 999 suicide call face misconduct hearing

The investigation found that the officers drove to McDonald’s to buy tea, then to a nearby roundabout where they remained for 24 minutes.

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Two police officers have been accused of gross misconduct after allegedly stopping at a McDonald’s while on an emergency call about a suicidal woman who was later found hanged.

Fahima Begum, 22, was found unresponsive in her home in Poplar, east London, in the early hours of 16 April 2015.

The London Ambulance Service had received a call from a concerned friend at 11.50pm on 15 April stating she had sent him a suicidal text and was now not answering the door.

The call was sent to the Metropolitan Police and at 12.04am PC Gavin Bateman and PC Tony Stephenson accepted the call.

The call was graded as significant, meaning officers have a maximum of 60 minutes to attend the scene. Regulations state that officers are required to attend as soon as is possible.

An investigation found Met officers Tony Stephenson and Gavin Bateman bought hot drinks then waited 24 minutes during which time they contacted the informant before proceeding to the scene.

The police watchdog said the PCs’ delay in attending her home in Poplar, east London, was “significant”.

An inquest held on 4 November, 2015 found that Miss Begum committed suicide and had died prior to the 999 call being placed. The IPCC said they found no cases to answer in relation to the call handlers.

Colin Dewar, commission delegate said: “Our investigation established a significant delay between the officers accepting the call and attending Ms Begum’s home. It will now be a matter for a panel to determine whether or not the response of the officers breached the standards of professional behaviour.”

The hearing will take place in London on February 27 and 28.

Source: IPCC

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