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Blues and Twos - Police & Law Blog is a an amalgamation of thoughts, feelings and observations on news, current affairs and UK policing in general. Our police blog has contributions from officers of the rank of Inspector (Organ Grinder) down to Constable (Monkey). Blues and Twos - The Police Officer's Blog

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Thursday, October 20, 2005

Congratulations To The CPS

Henry Stanley: CPS decision

The Crown Prosecution Service today informed two MPS officers of the outcome of a review by Surrey Police of their investigation into the death of Henry Stanley in September 1999.

We understand that the Crown Prosecution Service has advised Surrey Police and the Independent Police Complaints Commission that there is insufficient evidence to prosecute the two officers for any offence. They have therefore been released from bail by Surrey Police who will take no further action against them.

Assistant Commissioner Steve House, head of the Met's Central Operations, said:
"We welcome today's announcement by the CPS that there will be no charges laid against these two officers. We would now urge the Independent Police Complaints Commission to swiftly come to a decision regarding any possible outstanding police disciplinary issues so that this matter can finally be resolved.

"This has been a very stressful time for the two officers involved, their families and their colleagues. Both men will continue to be offered appropriate welfare support by the Metropolitan Police. It is also a very difficult time for the family of Mr Stanley and we again express our sympathy to them.

"The legal processes examining this tragic incident has been unnecessarily protracted and the time this has taken can only have increased the strain for all involved. The current system has not served the best interests of anyone.

"These officers were asked to make an instant life and death decision whilst carrying out the armed policing duties for which they had volunteered. We all readily accept the need for there to be full and proper legal scrutiny of these incidents when they happen. However justice is best served by a timely investigation and outcome.

"Our armed officers supply an essential service in helping to keep Londoners and their unarmed colleagues safe. We will continue to provide them with support and reassurance in order that they have the confidence to fulfil what is an integral role in helping to make London one of the safest cities in the world."

"The various investigations and enquiries into this tragic incident have now been running for more than six years. The MPS fully supports the need for changes in the way that complicated inquests such as this are dealt with and echo the comments made by Mr Justice Leveson when he quashed the verdict of the second inquest into Mr Stanley's death at the High Court in May 2005."

In delivering his judgement Mr Justice Leveson said, "All deserved better from the system and it is sufficient if I add my weight to the call to implement the change recommended by the Fundamental Review. Without any disrespect to the coroner, this extremely difficult case would have benefited from judicial oversight at a higher level." The Fundamental Review referred to recommended that in the most legally complex inquests a High Court judge should be appointed to act as Coroner.

Mr Stanley died in September 1999 after police responded to an emergency call from a member of the public reporting a man carrying a sawn-off shotgun. The incident has now been subject to two inquests, judicial reviews and two investigations by Surrey Police, with the CPS now having concluded for a third time that the officers should not face criminal charges.

An unlawful killing verdict recorded at the inquest of Henry Stanley at St Pancras Coroner's Court in October 2004 was quashed by the High Court in May 2005. An application to appeal against the High Court judgement has also been refused.

It's only been six years.

Hopefully the IPCC won't take that long to decide on any possible disciplinary action against these two officers.

Surely under any normal circumstance the time taken to investigate this incident would be in breach of the human rights act under Article 5.3 Right To Liberty And Security?

Perhaps it doesn't apply to police officers under investigation?


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