Eight Met officers facing gross misconduct investigations over Stephen Port case
We are investigating the conduct of five current and three former Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) officers following our re-investigation into how the murders of Anthony Walgate, Gabriel Kovari, Daniel Whitworth and Jack Taylor were originally handled.
All eight have recently been told they are being investigated for gross misconduct for possible breaches of police professional standards relating variously to equality and diversity, duties and responsibilities, authority respect and courtesy and honesty and integrity.
Five of the officers were subjects in the investigation by our predecessor the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) – three are still serving and two are former officers.
We announced in June 2022 that we were re-investigating the way the Met initially handled its investigations into the deaths of the four men in Barking, east London. This was after new evidence, previously unknown to us, was given by Met officers at inquest hearings which concluded in late 2021.
In the original IPCC investigation, which was completed in August 2018, the actions of multiple officers were examined and 17 of those were subjects in the investigation. When interviewed, 16 of the 17 officers chose to provide written accounts.
As part of our reinvestigation, we have thoroughly reviewed the original investigation material, the information provided to the 2021 inquest, and other relevant material, including related Coroner’s reports from those inquests held before a murder investigation was launched by the Met.
We continue to follow lines of enquiry and will be conducting further witness interviews. To date we have examined 3,500 documents from various sources, including police investigations, the multiple inquests that have been held, the Port murder trial, the statements given to the original IPCC investigation and then to the subsequent inquest in 2021.
IOPC regional director Steve Noonan said: “Our thoughts remain with the families and friends of Anthony, Gabriel, Daniel and Jack who were tragically murdered by Stephen Port in Barking.
“I want to pay tribute to the families of these young men who have shown considerable patience as we got to the position we are in now.
“Our re-investigation has been, and continues to be, thorough and detailed. We recognise it has taken some time to reach this stage, but these are complex matters, involving multiple officers and four investigations into unexplained deaths and then the subsequent murder investigation into Port.
“Though we have found an indication that the behaviour of these eight individuals may have amounted to gross misconduct, this does not necessarily mean disciplinary proceedings will automatically follow. Based on the evidence, at the conclusion of our investigation we will decide whether any officers should face disciplinary proceedings.”