17 police officers to be quizzed over ‘botched’ investigation of Grindr killer Stephen Port
17 police officer are being interviewed about their role in the Stephen Port investigation.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is investigating how officers dealt with the case, after serious question marks were raised by families of the victims.
Stephen Port, 41, was locked up for life after murdering four victims by drugging, raping and murdering the victims.
Despite three bodies being found in the same churchyard – two by the same woman walking her dog – the Metropolitan Police failed to join the dots between the cases.
More than 700 documents and around 200 statements are being investigated in the IPCC investigation.
IPCC Commissioner Cindy Butts said: “Over the coming weeks our investigators will be undertaking interviews with the 17 officers who have been served with notices as part of the investigation.
“These interviews are an important milestone in the investigation as we continue to build the picture of the police response to the deaths.
“Misconduct notices are not judgemental in any way.
“We are grateful for the information provided to us by the family and friends of Anthony, Daniel, Gabriel, and Jack, as well as members the LGBT community and the wider public, and MPS officers.
“In an investigation of this magnitude, centred upon the tragic murders of four dearly missed young men, every piece of information counts and we continue to wish to hear from anyone who can assist this important work.
“My thoughts remain with everyone affected by Port’s horrific crimes, and they can be assured that we are committed to providing them with thorough conclusions as soon as we are able.”
Of the 17 Met Police officers being interviewed, seven have been served with gross misconduct notices, and ten officers with misconduct notices.
Former Met Police boss, Sir Beranrd Hogan-Howe, previously admitted police failed to spot the four murders were connected.
Sir Hogan-Howe said: “We should have spotted earlier there was something wrong there.
“No-one put the connection together at the time.
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“It just wasn’t realised there was a connection between the events and each of the events didn’t have an obvious suspicious element.”
He added, in the interview with LBC, that: “In retrospect, it looks obvious but at the time each officer had to deal with the circumstances they found.”
41-year-old Stephen Port, of Barking, east London, was found guilty of the murders of Anthony Walgate, Gabriel Kovari, Daniel Whitworth, and Jack Taylor.
Handing down the sentenced, Mr Justice Openshaw said Port had told “the most elaborate lie” in relation to the death of Kovari in the witness box.
He said Port will die in prison as the court applauded when his sentenced was handed down.
Shouts of “scumbag” and “yes” were heard from the court.
The judge also said he told “wicked and monstrous lies” when he placed a fake suicide note on the body of Whitworth.