IOPC assessment of matters linked to Daniel Morgan Independent Panel report
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has concluded, following a detailed and thorough assessment of the Daniel Morgan Independent Panel (DMIP) report, that there are no new avenues for investigation which could now result in either criminal or disciplinary proceedings.
We have today published our assessment of matters linked to the publication, in June 2021, of the Panel’s report. It exposed the failures of the investigations into Daniel Morgan’s murder in south London on 10 March 1987.
Following its publication, we asked the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC), the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) and Hampshire Constabulary (Hants) to assess whether there were indications that former or current officers may have breached police professional standards of behaviour or committed a criminal offence that required a new investigation.
In parallel, we carried out the same exercise because we can use our power of initiative, if necessary, to investigate matters without a police force referring them to us. In total we considered whether the actions of 50 either serving or former officers, required further investigation. In reaching our decisions we considered whether:
- any conduct matter which could be recorded had been investigated before
- any criminal or misconduct proceedings could now be brought and
- the facts of the matter had already been investigated and brought to light, in the DMIP report or by an earlier investigation.
MOPAC responded in September 2021 and Hants responded in November 2021 stating they would not be recording the conduct of any officer or former officer. The final response was received from the MPS in March 2022 and its view was the same.
Significantly, we disagreed with the MPS assessment regarding former Assistant Commissioner (AC) John Yates, who retired in 2011. We found an indication that he may have breached police standards of professional behaviour, relating to the second investigation into Mr Morgan’s murder, by failing to take action against the senior investigating officer, former Detective Chief Superintendent (DCS) Dave Cook.
Former DCS Cook’s actions led to the exclusion of key witness evidence from the trial, in 2011, of three defendants for Mr Morgan’s murder. Given former AC Yates’ retirement, disciplinary proceedings cannot be brought, and as an investigation would not provide any further information than that in the DMIP report, there are insufficient grounds to exercise our power of initiative.
We also disagreed with MOPAC’s assessment of former Commissioner Cressida Dick’s conduct. We assessed that she may have breached police standards of professional behaviour by not providing full and exceptional disclosure to the DMIP sooner, although not to the extent that would justify disciplinary proceedings. On this basis we have no grounds to exercise our power of initiative.
We found that she acted with a genuine belief to protect the information but may have got the balance wrong and should have given greater priority to her duty to provide full and exceptional disclosure to the panel.
Sal Naseem, IOPC regional director for London, said:
“From the first to last investigation into Daniel Morgan’s murder there were failures to adequately challenge and investigate allegations that officers had acted corruptly.
“In coming to our decisions, we are acutely aware that not one single officer was ever successfully prosecuted or received significant disciplinary action as a result of corruption directly connected to the murder investigations.
“The wrongs that occurred can never be put right, but it may have served as some small comfort to Mr Morgan’s family and loved ones if the officers involved had been held to account and suffered the consequences of their actions at the time.
“The circumstances of these matters must serve as a salient reminder to the Metropolitan Police and the police service more widely, of the importance of being constantly vigilant in challenging improper and corrupt behaviour swiftly, firmly and robustly.”
Prior to publication we shared our report with representatives of Mr Morgan’s family, members of DMIP, the MPS, Hants and MOPAC.