Police watchdog to reinvestigate failings in Grindr Killer investigation

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The police watchdog has announced they will reinvestigate the Metropolitan Police's failings in the Grindr Killer case.

In 2015 the Met referred itself to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) after it identified concerns with the initial investigations into the deaths of Anthony Walgate, 23, Gabriel Kovari, 22, Daniel Whitworth, 21, and Jack Taylor, 25.

Those men were murdered by serial killer and rapist Stephen Port, 47, who met his victims via gay online dating sites.

The first IOPC investigation concluded in August 2018, with evidence presented to the MET, the Coroner and the families of the victims.

An inquest, which ended last year, concluded that the MET's failings "probably" contributed to the deaths of the last three men.

New evidence came to light during that inquest, prompting the IOPC to launch this reinvestigation.

IOPC Regional Director Graham Beesley said in a statement: "Since the inquests concluded, an IOPC team has been closely examining the original investigation material and comparing it with the information and verbal accounts provided to the new inquests.

"In this case, the reinvestigation process has identified evidence which meets both the significant new information and material flaw categories, and we believe a proportionate – but thorough – new investigation is in the public interest.

"In our original investigation, we examined the actions of 17 officers. All but one gave no comment interviews under misconduct caution and chose to provide written responses to the investigators.

"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 enquiries were not followed.

"Those who have been closely impacted by this decision, including the families of the young men, and the officers whose conduct was originally investigated were consulted regarding our decision and they have been regularly updated by the IOPC throughout this process."

In November 2016, Port was convicted of the assaults by penetration, rapes and murders of the four men, as well as three more rapes, four more sexual assaults and ten counts of administering a substance with intent.

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