After 8 years since it was commissioned during Theresa May’s term as Prime Minister, an independent panel has finally published its findings. The report did not reveal who killed private detective Daniel Morgan who was murdered 34 years ago in 1987, but it did expose the vast extent of the Metropolitan’s culpability in all of its multiple investigations.
“The conclusion is that the metropolitan police is institutionally corrupt in terms of how it protects its own reputation rather than the transparency it offers around its culture and its practices around corrupt police officers.” says Hardeep, noting that the report went through over 110,000 documents containing over a million pages, taking 8 years and costing 16 million pounds.
The panel wouldn’t have been commissioned if not for the relentless demands of Daniel’s relatives who have dedicated their lives to discovering who killed him and why there was such a cover up and bringing information on the case and the preceding investigations into the public’s domain.
“I feel vindicated to a large extent, I feel this is quite historic. I’m pondering the reactions of the police in particular to this finding of institutional corruption. What they’re getting upset about is that their conception of corruption is very narrow, it’s brown envelopes.” says brother Alistair, who notes the police’s dishonesty is a clear perversion of the constable’s oath of fairness, integrity, diligence and impartiality.
The Met previously acknowledged that corrupt officers shielded the murderers in 2011, and the panel said a murder inquiry that may have been “solvable” was undermined. Five investigations by the Met since the murder failed to provide one conviction, and concerns about links between corrupt police, sections of the tabloid media, and organised crime, led the goverment to order the 2013 inquiry.
The panel said “By making incorrect assertions about the quality of investigations, and by its lack of candour, which is evident from the materials we have examined, we believe the Metropolitan Police’s first objective was to protect itself. In doing so it compounded the suffering and trauma of the family. The Metropolitan Police were not honest in their dealings with Daniel Morgan’s family, or the public.”
The report also was critical of former Met police chiefs for links to the former News of the World newspaper because the tabloid was so closely linked to a private detective agency run by a suspect in the murder, and that Senior Investigating Officer DCS David Cook and his wife were subject to surveillance by people working for the News of the World – causing them considerable distress.
In a joint statement, Mr Morgan’s family called police corruption a “sickness that needs to be addressed”. With Hardeep commenting “I think it raises really significant questions about the British state. Why is Britain a country that is so bad at turning the mirror on itself?”
“I think a lot of this is about the state not being able to look at its own image honestly,” said Kirsteen Knight.”
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