The Metropolitan Police handling of murders at the hands of ‘Grindr killer’ Stephen Port is to be re- investigated, it was announced today.
Port, 47, is currently serving a whole life sentence for his crimes.
Stephen Port, who has come to be known as ‘The Grindr Killer’, was found guilty in 2016 of murdering four young men by poisoning.
Port administered lethal doses of date-rape drug GHB, which is sometimes used recreationally, resulting in their death.
At the time, a friend of one of the victims claimed that police could have investigated the deaths earlier and possibly saved lives in the process.
Port also pleaded guilty to multiple rapes and received a whole life sentence, meaning he’ll never be released from prison.
The crimes were immortalised in the BBC Drama Four Lives (see trailer below) which doesn’t skirt around the topic of police failings.
At the time, no officer was ordered to face gross misconduct allegations but there was an independent inquest, that finished last December, which found that its OWN investigation was materially flawed.
The force failed to carry out basic checks, send evidence to be forensically examined, and exercise professional curiosity while Port was embarking on his killing spree, the December inquest heard.
The inquest introduced new evidence and it has been announced today that the Independent Office for Police Conduct will now re-investigate the officers.
A major incident team will be looking at either the new information or may even open the entire investigation again to look at the police conduct.
Regional Director 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.”
Basically the investigation into the investigators still isn’t complete, 8 years after the first victim, Anthony Walgate, was found dead outside Port’s flat in Barking.
He went on to murder Gabriel Kovari, Daniel Whitworth and Jack Taylor and the officers investigating were accused of homophobia as the deaths were not treat as ‘suspicious’ by police until after the fourth death.
The families’ solicitor said police had “blood on their hands”, adding: “It is time for them to be held accountable.”
If you’ve not seen the dramatization (below), it’s tough but important viewing and is available now on BBC iPlayer.