Cressida Dick ‘may have breached standards’ over Daniel Morgan murder inquiry

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The former Met Police commissioner will face no further action despite being criticised by a public inquiry (Picture: PA)

Dame Cressida Dick won’t face disciplinary action despite a report saying she may have frustrated a probe into a scandal which rocked the Metropolitan Police.

It found the former commissioner may have breached standards of professional behaviour in relation to a public inquiry looking into the murder of Daniel Morgan and subsequent failed investigation.

The private investigator was killed with an axe in the car park of the Golden Lion pub in south-east London on March 10, 1987.

No one has been brought to justice over the father-of-two’s death and the Met has previously admitted corruption hampered the original murder investigation.

An estimated £40 million has been spent on inquiries into a case which has dogged the force for decades.

The Met was accused of a ‘form of institutional corruption’ by an independent panel in June last year for concealing or denying its own failings over the case.

It singled out Dame Cressida for criticism, accusing her of not fully cooperating with the process and delaying it by not handing over evidence promptly.

Now the police watchdog has weighed in with its own assessment of matters raised by that scathing report, including confirming that the recently-departed commissioner, as well as any other officer linked to the case, will not face further investigation.

Daniel Morgan case
Daniel Morgan’s murder raised serious questions about corruption in the Met

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said it had determined ‘that there is an indication’ Dame Cressida was in breach of professional standards when she was an assistant commissioner and in charge of liaising with the inquiry for more than 18 months from May 2013 onwards.

It stressed there is ‘no evidence to indicate Commissioner Dick intended to protect corrupt officers’.

But the report found that, even though she had a ‘genuine belief’ her action had a ‘legitimate policing purpose’, her decision to prioritise efforts to protect information may have interfered with the full disclosure of evidence to the panel.

While saying she ‘may have got the balance wrong’, the watchdog concluded that the criticisms in the report ‘do not meet the required threshold for a conduct matter to be recorded’.

Mr Morgan’s family said they were ‘disappointed but not surprised’ by the review, calling it ‘no more than a rather poor shadow of the findings’ of the panel last year.

They added: ‘What we find here is a rather shabby exercise by the IOPC to avoid the implications of the police corruption and criminality which the panel’s report compelled them to acknowledge.’

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick leaving Scotland Yard in London (Picture: PA)
Dame Cressida Dick left her role at the Met after a series of scandals rocked the force’s reputation (Picture: PA)

They attacked the IOPC for not taking further action against Dame Cressida, saying: ‘In doing so, the IOPC shows that it suffers the very sickness within its own ranks that it purports to diagnose within the Met.’

Dame Cressida said she disagreed with the IOPC’s analysis that she might have breached standards, insisting she and her team acted ‘professionally, flexibly, expeditiously, diligently and with integrity in a challenging, unprecedented and complex task’.

She said the watchdog had recognised ‘that everything I did was for a legitimate purpose’.

Dame Cressida added that she ‘deeply’ regrets ‘that no one has been brought to justice for Daniel’s murder’, and regrets ‘everything the Met or any of its members have done which has added to the pain of Daniel’s family of losing Daniel in such terrible circumstances’.

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Responding to the report, the Met said the case had ‘transformed how we investigate homicide, identify misconduct and drive out corruption’.

Sal Naseem, IOPC regional director for London, acknowledged no officers have even been disciplined for failings in the investigation, adding ‘the wrongs that occurred can never be put right’.

Dame Cressida stood down after the Met was hit by a number of shocking scandals during her time at the helm.

In July, former counter-terrorism policing chief Sir Mark Rowley was named as the Met’s next commissioner.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

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