The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has announced the conclusions of their investigation into the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes by Metropolitan Police Service officers on 22 July 2005.
The shooting took place against the background of the July 7th suicide bombings and the failed bombings of July 21st 2005.
The family of Mr de Menezes complained that the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, alone or with others, released inaccurate public statements concerning the circumstances of his death, concurred with inaccurate information, or failed to correct such information.
A panel of three IPCC Commissioners subsequently oversaw an investigation into the conduct of Sir Ian Blair, Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis, and Assistant Commissioner Andrew Hayman.
The Commission has found there “is no evidence of misconduct” on the part of Sir Ian and and that the complaint against him “is not substantiated”. However it suggests that the Metropolitan Police Authority which oversees policing in London “should consider why the Commissioner remained uninformed of key information emerging during 22 July 2005.”
However the report finds that “the matters relating to Assistant Commissioner Andrew Hayman are substantiated” and calls on the MPA to consider what action they intend to take concerning the conduct issues identified.
The report concludes that: “AC Hayman’s actions in relation to his briefing the Crime Reporters’ Association (CRA), at about 4.30 p.m., and then misleading the attendees at the 5.00 p.m. management board meeting and sub-meeting led to inaccurate or misleading information being released by the Metropolitan Police.”
“AC Hayman either misled the public when he briefed the CRA that the deceased was not one of the four or when he allowed the 6.44 p.m. 22 July press release to state that it was not known if the deceased was one of the four. He could not have believed both inconsistent statements were true”
The report makes a number of key recommendations including that the MPA take action to ensure Met management address what it calls “serious weaknesses…in relation to the handling of critical information including within the senior management team” and that “responsibility for keeping the Commissioner and other key staff informed of critical information is made clear to the MPS senior management team.”
Following publication of the report Mayor of London Ken Livingstone said de Menezes’ death “was a tragedy that flowed from the terrorist attacks on London” but added it was “important for all our future safety to remember the circumstances under which the Met Police were operating during those weeks. London had faced the worst terrorist attack in its history, followed just two weeks later by further attempted bombings.”
“The professionalism and bravery of the police, in risking their lives to protect our capital, were second to none. All Londoners depended on their judgement and courage.”
A copy of the full investigation report can be downloaded from the Independent Police Complaints Commission website.