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Owami Davies: Met Police investigated after previously speaking to missing student nurse | UK News

The Met Police is being investigated after the watchdog learnt officers had previously been in contact with missing student nurse Owami Davies.

The 24-year-old from Essex was last seen on 7 July in Croydon after leaving her family home in Grays, Essex three days prior, and has not yet been found.

She was reported missing to Essex Police by her family on 6 July, with the force later handing the file over to the Met on 23 July.

However, on Saturday, Scotland Yard revealed its officers had spoken to Ms Davies on 6 July, after responding to an address in Croydon to concerns over the welfare of a woman.

Both the police and ambulance service attended and spoke to Ms Davies, who told them she did not want help.

At the time, she had not been marked as a missing person on the police database, and was only established later to be Ms Davies during the investigation to find her.

The Met said it is not investigating the officers in question, and its professional standards body was consulted, adding the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) requested the matter to be referred to them.

In a statement, Scotland Yard said: “The Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards (DPS) were consulted and as there has been contact with police the IOPC were informed.

“The IOPC has requested the matter be referred to them.

“The officers are not subject to any current investigation by the DPS.

“The interaction recorded on the officers’ body-worn video has been viewed by members of the Independent Advisory Group and Owami’s family to ensure openness and transparency.”

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Last known image of missing nurse

The IOPC said in a statement: “We can confirm that we received a referral on August 5 from the Metropolitan Police Service in relation to contact officers had with Owami Davies in Croydon on July 6, after she had been reported missing to Essex Police.

“We are currently assessing the available information to determine what further action may be required.”

A renewed appeal to find Ms Davies was launched last week, with the British Transport Police saying she could still be using trains in the area.

The Metropolitan Police added: “Owami has been depressed and in the absence of her medication may use alcohol to relieve her depression.”

So far, five people have been arrested as part of the investigation, two on suspicion of murder and three on suspicion of kidnap – all of whom have been released on bail.

Anyone with information should call the incident room on 020 8721 4622, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Owami Davies: Fifth man arrested over disappearance of student nurse as Met Police renew appeal | UK News

A fifth man has been arrested over the disappearance of student nurse Owami Davies, with the Met Police renewing their appeal for information a month on from the last confirmed sighting of her.

The police have now arrested five people – two on suspicion of murder and three on suspicion of kidnap.

The most recent arrest was a 33-year-old man held on suspicion of kidnap on Saturday.

Four of those arrested have since been released on bail.

Owami was last seen in the early hours of 7 July as she walked along Derby Road, West Croydon.

She had left her family home in Grays, Essex three days earlier.

Owami Davies left her family home on July 4 and was last seen just after midnight on Derby Road

Detective Chief Inspector Nigel Penney, who is leading the investigation, said: “This is a complex ongoing investigation involving a significant number of officers.

“We are working tirelessly to follow every line of enquiry, including extensive CCTV trawls, as we continue to search for Owami.

“We are now a month on from the last confirmed sighting of her. I cannot imagine what that time has been like for her family. We continue to provide them with whatever support we can.

“I am grateful for the help we have received from the public so far, but I must again appeal for anyone who has information – however insignificant they believe it might be – to get in touch.”

The Met’s Specialist Crime Command is leading the investigation to establish what has happened to Owami.

Anyone with information has been urged to contact the incident room on 020 8721 4622.

Owami Davies: Fourth man arrested on suspicion of murder over missing student nurse in south London | UK News

A fourth man has been arrested in connection with the disappearance of student nurse Owami Davies.

The 24-year-old went missing after leaving her home in Grays, Essex, on 4 July.

She was last seen just after midnight on 7 July in Derby Road, West Croydon, south London.

On Wednesday, her mother made a “desperate” plea to the public to help find her daughter, whom she said was months away from finishing her nursing course and starting a job at Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospital.

“I am begging, I am asking for the public’s help, from the people, to say if you know, if you have heard or seen her, or she passed you, please speak up,” Ms Davies’s mother, Nicol Davies, said.

On Thursday, the Metropolitan Police arrested a 22-year-old man at an address in Croydon on suspicion of murder.

He is the fourth person to be arrested, after police had previously detained three men, aged 23, 27 and 32.

Police also released new CCTV images of Ms Davies, from the night she was last seen in a shop and on Derby Road.

https://news.met.police.uk/images/sharable/31692b3c-2020-49bc-a737-ae547faa0486
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CCTV released by police show Ms Davies in a shop in Croydon

Investigators are looking to speak to the driver of a white van, that was parked on the road.

Ms Davies was with a man and crossed the road just as the van pulled out, police said, adding the driver would have had a “good opportunity” to see both of them.

The Met Police said this remains a missing person enquiry.

‘There’s a barrier to receiving help’: Campaigners call for more support for student mental health services | UK News

Campaigners have said there is still a long way to go to support young people and prevent suicides after the government announced further funding for student mental health services.

The Student Minds mental healthy charity has received a three-year funding commitment of £262,500 annually from the Office for Students and the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, to extend the provision of Student Space.

The platform offers students one-to-one mental health support as well as services via web, call and text.

The funding comes after the government allocated £3m to help the NHS work more closely with universities when providing students with mental health support.

However, campaigners have said there is a long way to go when it comes to providing students with the best possible mental health provisions.

Mental health activist Ben West told Sky News: “So many students I talk to don’t know what’s available, and even if they know what’s available they’re so mysteriously presented that, that there’s so much anxiety about going.

“That is such a barrier to receiving that help.”

He added that discrepancies between universities are also rife.

Mr West said: “It varies massively from university to university.

“Some universities I’ve seen and heard about are great, they’re very proactive in terms of the support they offer, and some universities are incredibly unproductive.

“We need so much more regulation and guidance from government.”

In 2018, Natasha Abrahart took her own life while in her second year at the University of Bristol.

Struggling with social anxiety, her well-being deteriorated as she faced increasing pressure around oral university assessments.

Her department was made aware of her situation.

Robert Abrahart, her father, told Sky News about how Natasha’s flatmate had written to staff about the fact the student had been having suicidal thoughts “and to some degree attempted it”.

He said: “At that point, you’d think people would pick up on it and do something.

“In fact, yes, they helped her to get to the GP service, but did nothing else in the department.”

Natasha Abrahart
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Natasha Abrahart took her own life in her second year of university

Her mother Margaret Abrahart added: “I think they were quite frightened to talk to her in case it was upsetting.

“But then at the same time, they seem OK with putting her into a situation that would be really upsetting.”

Her parents later learned of more attempts their daughter had made to get help.

Mr Abrahart said: “There’s records of her searching the internet for ways of solving her own problems.”

Her mother added: “It’s very tragic to see the attempts she made to sort out her own problems.

“It was just one of those problems that was just too difficult, and she needed help”.

Natasha Abrahart with parents Robert and Margaret
Image:
Natasha Abrahart with parents Robert and Margaret

Ultimately, a landmark court ruling found the university’s failures contributed to Natasha’s death.

At the time, the University of Bristol said staff worked hard and diligently to support her and it is committed to providing the best possible support for students.

The university has also applied to appeal the court’s decision.

The case sparked conversations around student mental health, and her parents continue to campaign so other students don’t experience the distress Natasha did.

There are also concerns about the training around mental health provided to student-facing staff.

Read more:
COVID and social media pressures driving surge in mental health problems, say doctors
One in six young people in England has a diagnosable mental health condition

Third of young men trying to conform to social media’s ‘picture perfect culture’, survey says

Sky News obtained data from 109 universities through Freedom of Information requests.

It showed that 98% offer student-facing staff mental health training.

However, it isn’t mandatory in 67 out of 107 institutions – that’s 63%.

And while 37%, 40 out of 107, have some form of mandate – in most cases, this doesn’t cover all staff.

Clinical psychologist Peter Kinderman told Sky News understanding of mental health must be widespread.

He said: “It should be part of the duty of care that all university staff – and that includes cleaning staff as well as lecturing staff – should have towards their students.

“It should be inherent in what universities do.

“If universities are ducking their responsibilities to understand and then support student mental health, then I think they’re at fault.”

Anyone feeling emotionally distressed or suicidal can call Samaritans for help on 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org in the UK. In the US, call the Samaritans branch in your area or 1 (800) 273-TALK