Town Hall

Council Leader welcomes decision to reinvestigate previous IOPC investigation of the Stephen Port murders

The announcement by the Regional Director of the IOPC that the way the Metropolitan Police initially handled the deaths of four men murdered by serial killer Stephen Port is to be reinvestigated has been welcome by the Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, Cllr Darren Rodwell.
Following the conclusion of the inquest in December last year, a petition was set up calling for a full public inquiry, which had the backing of Cllr Rodwell and has had nearly 45,000 signatures.
Regional Director of the IOPC, Graham Beesley said: "Following analysis of the new information provided at the inquest, we have concluded that the original investigation needed to be wider in scope and, therefore, certain lines of inquiries were not followed," he added.
"Had this information been known at the time it may have led to different decisions on outcomes."
Before the inquest, the Independent Office for Police Conduct also investigated 17 officers involved in the case. It found the performance of nine of them fell below the standard required. Seven of them received feedback from their manager while the other two attended meetings to discuss their performance. 
Cllr Darren Rodwell, Leader of the Council, said: ”I welcome the decision to re-investigate the original IOPC investigation into the conduct and actions of the Police officers who investigated the murders of Anthony Walgate, Gabriel Kovari, Daniel Whitworth and Jack Taylor.

“This decision is long overdue and is a result of the determination and incredible patience shown by the families and friends of Anthony, Gabriel, Daniel and Jack.

“I have worked closely with Jack Taylor's sisters Donna and Jen following the conclusion of the Inquest which took place at Barking Town Hall last year, and I can truly say their strength and resolve is inspirational. Arising from the very worst circumstance, their campaign for justice has rightly had support right across the borough and around the country.”