STEPHEN PORT: Eight Met Police officers face misconduct charges during a murder investigation


Eight Metropolitan Police officers are being investigated for gross misconduct during their handling of the case of the serial killer and sexual predator. Stephen Port.

The police watchdog, which has previously ruled that no officer should face disciplinary action, said I decided to reinvestigate After “new information” emerged in the investigation into the deaths in 2021.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said five of the arrested officers remained on duty, while three had now left the force.

All eight are being investigated for possible violations of police professional standards relating variously to equality, diversity, duties and responsibilities, authority, respect, courtesy, honesty and integrity.

Five of the officers were subjects in the original investigation – of those three are still serving and two are former officers.

Officers Repeated opportunities were missed To arrest Port, 47, after he doused his first victim, Anthony Walgett, a 23-year-old fashion student, with a lethal dose of the rape drug GHB and dumped his body near his flat in Barking, east London.

Gabriel Covari, Jack Taylor, Daniel Whitworth, Anthony Walgett

Clockwise from top left: Gabriel Covari, Jack Taylor, Daniel Whitworth, Anthony Walgett

He then killed Gabriel Kovari, 22, Daniel Whitworth, 21, and Jack Taylor, 25, between June 2014 and September 2015.

However, the police Failed to link The near-identical circumstances surrounding the deaths of his four victims, who were all gay men who had been targeted on Grindr and other dating apps and initially told grieving relatives they had overdosed.

Port was not arrested until after the families began investigating themselves. He was sentenced to a life tariff in 2016.

Lack of “cultural awareness”

In an investigation in December 2021, it emerged that the majority of police officers accused of failing to perform in the investigation had since been promoted.

Senior staff admitted there was a lack of “cultural awareness” about the use of GHB as a weapon, however I will not accept that the officers were biased against gay men.

After the original disciplinary investigation, which was completed in August 2018, none of the 17 police officers involved faced misconduct charges.

However, the IOPC identified “systemic failings” within the Metropolitan Police and said nine officers would be needed to improve their standards.

A spokesperson said: “As part of our re-investigation, we have carefully reviewed the original investigative materials, the information provided to the 2021 inquest, and other relevant materials, including relevant coroner’s reports from those investigations conducted before the commencement of the murder investigation by the police”. he met.

“We are continuing to pursue lines of inquiry and will conduct further interviews with witnesses. We have so far examined 3,500 documents from various sources, including police investigations, multiple investigations conducted, the Port murder trial, and statements provided to the original investigation conducted by the government body.” IPCC and subsequent investigation in 2021.

A lawyer for the families of Port’s victims said the development was a testament to their “determination and perseverance.”

Neil Hudgell, of Hudgell Solicitors, said: “We would not have reached this point without their dedication to ensuring full transparency and accountability.”

He said the investigation must be “full and courageous.”

IOPC regional director Steve Noonan said the investigation into potential misconduct cases was “thorough and detailed”.

He added: “Although we found indication that the conduct of these eight individuals may rise to the level of serious misconduct, this does not necessarily mean that disciplinary action will automatically follow.”

Chief Constable John Saville said: “The deaths of these four young people is a tragedy and we deeply regret that there were failings in our police response.” Once again, I and the Metropolitan Police offer my sincere apologies. “Our thoughts, as always, are with their families and friends.”

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