IPCC meeting with LGBT groups regarding investigation into Met Police response to deaths in Barking
Members of LGBT community groups in east London have met with investigators examining the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) response following the deaths of four young men.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is investigating the MPS response to the deaths. The bodies of Anthony Walgate, 23, Gabriel Kovari, 22, Daniel Whitworth, 21, and Jack Taylor, 25, were all found in the Barking area on separate dates between June 2014 and September 2015.
IPCC Commissioner Cindy Butts - who is overseeing the organisation's investigation into the MPS response to the four deaths – has held a meeting with a small number of invited community representatives in Barking to listen to concerns.
The Commissioner explained the scope of the investigation and outlined what work has already been carried out, such as reviewing documentation and statements.
During the meeting the Commissioner also asked for anybody who may have information which may assist the IPCC investigation to come forward.
Cindy Butts said:
"The tragic deaths of these four young men have concerned the community, both in east London and in the wider LGBT community.
"I was pleased to offer the opportunity to meet with community groups to explain our role in examining the police response to these deaths and listen to concerns.
"We are limited in what information we can discuss so as not to prejudice the ongoing criminal proceedings linked to this case but, I would like to reassure people that our investigators are continuing their important work.
"We are keeping all of the families involved up to date with our investigation and our thoughts remain with everyone affected by the tragic deaths of Anthony, Gabriel, Daniel and Jack."
The IPCC is aware statements and information were provided to police at the time of the original investigations into the four deaths. We would like to hear from anybody who passed information to police specifically between 19 June 2014 and 15 October 2015, prior to the investigation currently being carried out by the MPS's Homicide and Serious Crime Command.
Anyone with information should contact us on 0800 151 0021 or email barking&[email protected]
As part of the police investigation, Stephen Port, 41, of Barking, has been charged with four counts of murder in relation to the deaths as well as a number of other offences. The criminal proceedings in relation to these charges are ongoing.