Following a meeting with the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), the families of Stephen Port’s murder victims have been told that its report into the Metropolitan Police Service’s (MPS) initial response to the four deaths will be damning and will identify multiple failures and missed opportunities.
The families’ lawyers, Neil Hudgell and Andrew Petherbridge of Hudgell Solicitors, met the IOPC lead investigator, Ben Williams, along with the families of 23-year-old Anthony Walgate, 21-year-old Daniel Whitworth, and 25-year-old Jack Taylor, last week in London and were told that the report would be sent to the MPS by the end of May. It is hoped the families will see the report soon after, although it’s findings may be not be made public until after the victims’ inquests have concluded.
Neil Hudgell said: “The families were pleased to have an opportunity to meet with the IOPC and express their frustrations about how slow the investigation has been. They want to see the report and have answers about why their loved one is no longer with them.”
In total, the actions of 17 officers are under investigation.
In November last year, the High Court quashed the original inquests into the deaths of two of Port’s victims, Daniel Whitworth and 22-year-old Gabriel Kovari, paving the way for all four victims’ inquests to be held together. Hudgell Solicitors say they expect all four inquests to take place in 2019.
Report will be finalised and sent to the Met by end of May