No police officers will face misconduct charges as a result of a probe into the investigation of Grindr serial killer Stephen Port.
The Independent Office of Police Conduct had probed failures within the Metropolitan Police that allowed serial killer Stephen Port to evade authorities while murdering four gay men between 2014 and 2015.
No charges for police over Stephen Port ‘failings’
The final report, which is set to be published following a fresh inquest into the deaths, identifies “systemic failings” within the police service, but does not seek any misconduct charges against any of the 17 officers involved.
16 of the 17 officers involved in the case refused to answer questions in interviews with the police watchdog, it was previously reported.
The IOPC said in a statement: “While we agreed none of the officers involved in these investigations may have breached professional standards justifying disciplinary proceedings, we will be making a number of recommendations to the Metropolitan Police to address some of the systemic failings our investigation identified.
“We have advised the families of Stephen Port’s victims and the officers involved that the performance of nine officers fell below the standard required.
“They will now be required to improve their performance.”
Grindr killer Stephen Port
The deaths of Anthony Walgate, Gabriel Kovari, Daniel Whitworth and Jack Taylor were originally treated as unrelated drug-related incidents, despite a potential link between the cases being repeatedly flagged to police.
However, officers later discovered that they were murdered by Stephen Port, who was known to police, using date rape drug GHB after meeting him on hook-up apps.
Police ‘unaccountable for institutionalised incompetence and prejudice’
The families of the victims agreed not to comment on the report until its formal release, following the inquest.
But Gabriel Kovari’s former flatmate John Pape told the BBC that the IOPC’s decision made his “blood boil.”
He said the decision not to seek charges “contrasted with the basic facts of that disturbingly incompetent initial investigation.”
Pape told the BBC he is “not clamouring for individual officers to be harshly punished” but is concerned about the consequences of “institutionalised incompetence and prejudice within an unaccountable police force.”
He said: “The police mishandling of the Port murders echo their previous failings in other serial killings of young gay men.
“I want to know the Met recognise their failures and will finally learn from them.”
Potential police failings will be the focus of the new inquest into the deaths of the four victims.