Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick says she acted with “integrity” despite accusations that “incompetence and corrupt acts” hampered investigations into the murder of Daniel Morgan.
Mr Morgan, a private detective, was found with an axe embedded in his head in the car park of the Golden Lion pub in Sydenham on March 10 1987.
The General London Assembly (GLA) Police and Crime Committee heard today from Commissioner Dick and Baroness Nuala O’Loan, who chaired the damning panel report published last month into the Met’s handling Mr Morgan’s case.
Baroness O’Loan slammed the Met as being ‘defensive’ and ‘dishonest’ during the multiple murder investigations and in response to the panel’s report.
She revealed that the process of gathering information for the report had been “painful” and described how investigation papers presented by the Met arrived in “crates with all the papers muddled up and mixed up”.
The panel also found out that the officer in charge of providing the information had not been properly vetted.
Baroness O’Loan went on to reference similar failings to vet officers, including PC Wayne Couzens who pleaded guilty to raping and murdering Sarah Everard while he was a serving officer in the Met earlier this year.
“We haven’t seen any evidence to suggest the Metropolitan Police’s assertion that the vetting process is adequate and effective and we have major concerns about failings in this area,” she added.
She went on to criticise the Met and senior figures in the force who she said “lacked candour” in their public statements and warned that this will “diminish trust” in officers.
“The Met, as an organisation, has not responded honestly to the public and to the family about the serious failures including incompetence and corrupt acts in the murder investigations over the past 34 years,” she said.
“The Metropolitan Police has placed concern for its reputation above the public interest.
“There has been dishonesty for the benefit of the reputation of the organisation and that is institutional corruption, and the statements made on behalf of the Met have continued to lack candour, even after the publication of our report when they referred specifically only to the failings in the first investigation.”
“This is a betrayal of the family, and it’s also a betrayal of the public and of good, honest officers. And it will diminish trust.”
Later, the committee heard from Commissioner Dick who repeated her rejection of the accusation of institutional corruption adding that the reports claim was “bordering on offensive”.
“In terms of institutional corruption that’s not the Met I see today,” she said.
“I don’t accept that’s the Met I know, and I find bordering on offensive I suppose, the suggestion that we keep things quiet to protect our reputation currently.
“That’s not the Met I lead, that’s not the Met I see.
“However, there may be occasions when we look like that, when we are perceived to be. I’m absolutely determined that we up our game on our openness and our transparency.”
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