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Thursday, August 04, 2022

Consequence free

The Guardian reports on the ruling of the police watchdog that every officer involved in the Daniel Morgan scandal will escape punishment, despite an independent inquiry finding that corruption in the Metropolitan police shielded the private detective’s killers with the force ignoring information.

The paper adds that those escaping any action include the former Met commissioner Cressida Dick, who the inquiry accused of hampering its work:

Morgan, 37, was found murdered on 10 March 1987 in the car park of the Golden Lion pub in Sydenham.

With his business partner, Jonathan Rees, Morgan ran an agency called Southern Investigations. It would go on to carry out extensive work for the News of the World.

The panel said the Met was “institutionally corrupt” and placed protecting its reputation over the truth, all charges the force under Dick denied.

Five investigations by the Met into Morgan’s murder have failed to yield a conviction. Concerns about police wrongdoing, and links between corrupt officers and sections of the tabloid media, led the government to order the Leveson inquiry in 2013 after The Guardian’s revelations about phone hacking.

Dick, an assistant commissioner when the Morgan panel started its inquiry, was supposed to make good on the Met promise to fully cooperate with the panel, which was given no statutory powers to investigate and was thus reliant on those they were investigating agreeing to hand over evidence.

The panel accused the force of placing concerns about its reputation above properly confronting corruption. It said the Met misled the public and Morgan’s grieving family, exacerbating their pain.

The panel criticised police delays in giving access to a database with relevant documents, called “Holmes”, and Dick is named as one of those responsible. “The panel has never received any reasonable explanation for the refusal over seven years by [then] assistant commissioner Dick and her successors to provide access to the Holmes accounts to the Daniel Morgan independent panel,” they said.

Sal Naseem, the regional director for London at the IOPC, said: “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.”

So once more, no consequences for the Met's failings.
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