Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC - formerly IPCC)
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Metropolitan Police Service officer served with gross misconduct notice following investigation into handling of forensic evidence
Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) investigators have served a Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) officer with a gross misconduct notice following an investigation into the handling of forensic evidence.
An independent investigation began in December 2013 after the MPS referred a matter relating to how forensic evidence was handled in connection with an investigation into the recovery of a firearm in Lambeth in May 2012.
The referral was made after the evidence was submitted for testing in November 2013 and a match was made to someone believed to have been involved in a subsequent incident in October 2013.
The IPCC’s investigation is looking at potential gross misconduct matters and on Wednesday, 5 February IPCC investigators served a detective constable with a notice advising his conduct is subject to investigation. The officer will be interviewed in due course.
IPCC investigators are examining whether the officer’s handling of forensic evidence was in line with MPS policies and procedures, and why the delay in submitting the evidence occurred. The investigation is also considering what impact the officer’s actions may have had on any past or present criminal investigations, victims or their families.
Investigators are also exploring whether there are other similar issues in relation to how the officer handled forensic evidence and whether there are any failings within the MPS’ policies and procedures which may have contributed to the officer’s actions.
IPCC Commissioner Jennifer Izekor said:
“Gun crime has a devastating effect on communities and this investigation raises serious concerns about the way a Metropolitan Police officer handled forensic evidence following a firearms incident in 2012.
“Clearly this is a complex investigation which rightly will explore the officer’s actions.
“Londoners expect that the Metropolitan Police Service treat all reported firearms incidents seriously and investigates them thoroughly.
“We will be rigorous in challenging how this evidence relating to a criminal firearms investigation was handled and seek to uncover whether other victims of crime may have been impacted upon as a result.”
Notes to editors:
Serving a police officer with a notice advises them their conduct is subject to investigation – such notices are not judgmental in any way.