London Metropolitan Police cite Grenfell Inquiry to justify not pressing criminal charges
End collaboration with the inquiry now!
Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden
9 March 2019
London’s Metropolitan Police will not press any charges regarding the 72 deaths at Grenfell Tower until “the latter part of 2021.” They justify this extraordinary admission by citing the need to wait for the government inquiry into Grenfell to complete its business.
The Met’s criminal investigation and the inquiry are “inextricably linked,” the brief statement declares. Therefore, “both the police senior investigating officer and the CPS [Crown Prosecution Service] agree that the police investigation must take into account any findings or reports produced by the [Grenfell Tower] Inquiry, including its final report ” (emphasis added).
Only then and only if “the police investigation concludes there is sufficient evidence to consider criminal charges” will the Met submit a file “to the CPS for its consideration.”
Phase two of the inquiry doesn’t even begin until the end of this year, so it is “unlikely” that any action will be taken by the Met until late 2021. This would be almost five years after the fire and even this is an optimistic figure—based upon phase two being completed in less than two years and the presiding judge, Sir Martin Moore-Bick, delivering his verdict soon afterwards. It could be much longer.
Detective Superintendent Matt Bonner posed as someone anxious to respect the inquiry, adding that he was in contact with “bereaved families and survivors as well as the wider community” and that “I know this is longer than some might have anticipated, but the police must ensure all the available evidence is considered before any file is submitted…