Met police officers who were found to have committed failings in the Grindr Killer case have since been promoted to more senior roles, it’s been revealed.
Following the case of the Grindr killer, in which murderer Stephen Port targeted gay men in a series of attacks between 2014 and 2015, five officers were reprimanded for their failings that led to him being set free after the first killing.
Port went onto murder four men, as well as drugging and sexually assaulting several more over a period of 16 months before eventually being caught.
Now, an inquest jury ruled on Friday, January 7, that police mistakes ‘probably’ contributed to the deaths of his victims, The Independent reports.
17 officers in total were investigated for their role in the case, with Scotland Yard finding fault in nine of them. However, it admitted that no one had been sacked and five people who had been disciplined at the time had gone on to more senior positions within the police force.
The inquest found police didn’t manage to link the deaths of Port’s victims with some relatives, initially being told that they had overdosed.
Port was interviewed after he called 999 to report the body of his first victim, Anthony Walgate, outside his flat. However, police only charged him with perverting the course of justice for lying, and he went on to kill three more times.
The nine officers found to have fallen below standards were reprimanded for ‘performance failings’ but stayed in service, and the Metropolitan Police had to defend the process that has since seen five of them promoted.
A spokesperson for the force said: ‘In order to achieve promotion, any officer has to go through a broad and rigorous assessment process. Following that they have to complete an extensive workbook to evidence their skills and abilities to ensure they are capable of the role/rank.
‘We have also spoken to line managers to confirm all those subject to the IOPC (Independent Office for Police Conduct) investigation who are still in the Met – two officers have retired and one has resigned – are performing to the expected standards.’
Speaking at a press conference, Assistant Commissioner Helen Ball elaborated on the further checks, which included ‘how people operate in an inclusive way’, after families of victims questioned whether investigations could’ve been affected by their sexuality.
The Port case is currently back in the public eye following the release of new BBC drama Four Lives, which stars Stephen Merchant and follows the series of atrocities the killer committed.
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