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Outcome of misconduct hearing

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Outcome of misconduct hearing

An officer has been dismissed from the Met after a misconduct hearing found she had failed in her duties to safeguard a woman who was later killed by her partner.

PC Sandeep Khunkhun, attached to the North West Command Unit, faced allegations that her conduct breached the standards of professional behaviour in relation to Duties and Responsibilities. This follows an independent investigation carried out by the IOPC following a referral from the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards.

On 16 April 2020, Denise Keane-Simmons, aged 44, died after her husband Damion Simmons set fire to a flat in which she was staying. Simmons was later convicted of her murder and jailed for life with a minimum of 32 years, following a trial in 2021.

The hearing heard that in the months leading up to her death, a number of allegations were made by Denise, and others on her behalf, against her husband. PC Khunkhun was the officer in charge of investigating these allegations.

Chief Superintendent Sara Leach, BCU commander for Brent, Harrow and Barnet, said: “The investigation carried out by PC Khunkhun was clearly below the standard we expect. Our thoughts today remain with Ms Keane-Simmons’ family who have suffered an unimaginable loss.

“Tackling violence against women and girls is one of our top priorities. We want anyone who is a victim of domestic abuse to feel confident in coming forward to us and we know a case like this damages the trust people have in our organisation.

“As part of our Violence against Women and Girls Action Plan, we are now delivering new specialist training on domestic abuse to over 8,000 frontline constables and sergeants. This is aimed at improving the initial response to domestic abuse and assisting officers with recognising and responding to coercive and controlling behaviour.”

On Wednesday, 19 February 2020, PC Khunkhun was assigned as the officer in charge of two of the allegations made by Ms Keane-Simmons relating to harassment and voyeurism.

Despite this, she failed to arrange for the arrest of Mr Simmons and on three occasions cancelled plans to interview him in relation to the offences.

Although a number of supervisors asked her to update the crime report and set her an action plan, PC Khunkhun did not do so.

She later closed the investigations into the offences after stating that Ms Keane-Simmons withdrew her support and did not consider a victimless prosecution.

The panel found that the allegations were proven at the level of gross misconduct. PC Khunkhun will now be placed on the Barred List held by the College of Policing. Those appearing on the list cannot be employed by police, local policing bodies (PCCs), the Independent Office for Police Conduct or Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services.