Police are considering whether to investigate Scotland Yard after officers made contact with a student nurse who had been reported missing.
Owami Davies, 24, from Grace, Essex, left her family home on July 4 and was last seen shortly after midnight in Derby Road, West Croydon, south London, on July 7 but has not been found .
Ms Davies’ family reported her missing to Essex Police on July 6 and the force handed the investigation over to the Metropolitan Police on July 23.
On Saturday, the Met revealed that its officers had spoken to Ms Davies on July 6.
In a statement, the force said officers were called to an address in Clarendon Road, Croydon, over concerns for the welfare of a woman.
Police and London Ambulance Service attended the address and spoke to the woman, but she told them she did not want help and left.
Ms Owami was not marked as missing in the police database at the time.
The Met only later identified the woman as Mrs Davies as a result of a missing person investigation.
The force said its professional standards body had been consulted and was not investigating the officers.
However, it said the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) had requested that the matter be referred to it.
In a statement, Scotland Yard said: “The Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards (DPS) was consulted and as the police were contacted the IOPC was informed.
“The IOPC asked that the matter be referred to them.
“The officers are not subject to any current investigation by DPS.
“The interaction captured on the officers’ body-worn video was viewed by members of the Independent Advisory Panel and Owami’s family to ensure transparency and openness.”
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 officers’ contact with Owami Davies in Croydon on July 6 after she was reported missing to Essex Police.
“We are currently evaluating the available information to determine what further action may be required.”
The Met has issued several appeals for information about Ms Davies’ whereabouts and arrested five people – two on suspicion of murder and three on suspicion of kidnapping – who were later released on bail.
The force issued a new appeal earlier this week, saying Ms Davies could be in Croydon and “needs help”.
On Thursday, British Transport Police (BTP) tweeted that the 24-year-old could be regularly traveling on trains, may appear dazed or confused and may be seeking to socialize with women traveling alone.
BTP wrote: “We know that Owami Davies, 24, regularly uses the rail and rail network to travel from #Grays, Essex to the #Croydon area. Often via #WestHam and #WestCroydon stations. @metpoliceuk are considering dates from 7 July 2022 onwards.
“Owami may still be regularly traveling by rail in a vulnerable state, appearing dazed or confused and possibly seeking to socialize with other lone female travellers.”
The Met added: “Owami was depressed and in the absence of medication she may use alcohol to relieve her depression.”
Essex Police said in a statement that after the launch of the missing persons investigation, “it became clear that a significant number of inquiries to locate Owami were in London and so the search for her was officially transferred to the Met on 23 July.” .
The force explained: “When someone is reported missing, an assessment is carried out to identify that person’s risk of harm, including age, current mental health and information about their vulnerability to exploitation.
“This risk is regularly reviewed through research.
“A media appeal is often not the first investigative tool an officer leading an investigation considers and the decision about whether and when to issue a media appeal can be influenced by what other lines of inquiry are available and the wishes of the family.
“Releasing someone’s photo and publicly declaring that they are missing, just by the fact that they are publicized as missing, suggests that that person has a vulnerability.
“If we’re able to identify someone without exposing them, and that vulnerability, to that level of public scrutiny, then we try to do that.
“However, this is also balanced against the identified immediate risk to that individual’s well-being.”