According to information obtained by the Guardian, a law enforcement official has been detained and is being probed for allegedly disseminating surveillance video of a woman’s reported sexual assault, which resulted in her death.
This case involves the death of Natalie Shotter, a 37-year-old woman who passed away on July 17, 2021 in Southall Park, located in west London. She had been out with friends that night.
While in the park, Shotter, a mother of three and NHS employee, fell ill and rested on a bench. Her companion went to seek aid and encountered two police officers. He requested their assistance, but they allegedly declined due to being occupied with another situation and suggested calling 101.
Another man approached Shotter and reportedly sexually assaulted her. She was later discovered deceased. The initial examination after her death was inconclusive in determining the exact cause of death.
The Guardian understands there are three investigations under way relating to Shotter’s death. The first is a criminal investigation into the man who is alleged to have raped Shotter, the second is into the police officer investigating Shotter’s death who allegedly shared CCTV footage of the incident, and the third is into the conduct of the two officers who allegedly told Shotter’s friend they could not help.
Dr. Cas Shotter Weetman, a prominent cardiology specialist with 44 years of experience in the NHS, is advocating for justice on behalf of her daughter, Shotter.
She expressed her sadness and questioned why the police did not assist Nat when she needed help that night. She wanted to understand the reasoning behind not checking on a lone woman in the park.
In my opinion, the Metropolitan police has a bias against women. Natalie was a petite individual, weighing only 45kg. She was a spirited person. We have lost a wonderful young woman, a caring mother. She was a well-behaved child.
It was some time after Shotter’s death that Metropolitan police officers told the family that an officer investigating the case had allegedly shared CCTV footage of the incident.
Weetman expressed shock and disgust upon learning about the situation from the police. She was unsure of how to handle it for the sake of Nat’s children and was disappointed with the Metropolitan Police. She believes they have a responsibility to protect the public and should be fulfilling their duties.
“Nat is unable to speak. I am her advocate. I will continue to fight for justice without pause. This is a mission that will require long-term commitment. If Nat were aware of my actions, she would surely express gratitude, saying: ‘Thank you, Mum’.”
Marcia Willis Stewart, Honorary KC, from Birnberg Peirce, is the lawyer for Shotter’s mother. The family is requesting that the Independent Office for Police Conduct conduct an independent investigation into the actions of the Met police before and after her death.
“She expressed ongoing worry over the persistent refusal to take action, despite the gravity of the situation, the importance of effective law enforcement and learning, and the IOPC’s stated objective of holding the police accountable for their handling of violence against women and girls.”
On September 12, 2022, a police constable from the west area basic command unit was arrested by professional standards officers for allegedly engaging in misconduct while on duty. A spokesperson from the Metropolitan Police confirmed the arrest.
On the same day, he was suspended and is currently being released while an investigation is being conducted. The ongoing criminal investigation is investigating whether or not the officer used images of deceased individuals, found on his digital devices, for a valid policing reason.
The representative stated that the matter was brought to the attention of the IOPC, who concluded that the Met should conduct an investigation.
“The spokesperson stated that the two officers, whom Shotter’s family had accused of neglecting to assist her friend’s plea for aid, were investigated by the Met’s directorate of professional standards. It was determined that they should be subject to the unsatisfactory performance procedure, but their behavior did not meet the criteria for misconduct.”
A representative from the IOPC stated that they were reassessing the case regarding the two officers near the park after receiving a request from the family.
The representative also stated that the IOPC had received another complaint regarding an officer who allegedly shared a video of a woman being raped. They determined that this incident should also be investigated by the Metropolitan Police Service.