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Response to website article

News   •   Jan 08, 2016 16:05 GMT

Following the publication of an article on The Guardian website dated Friday, 8 January and headlined: 'Officer claims Met police improperly destroyed files on Green party peer' - please see our response:

The Directorate of Professional Standards (DPS) has thoroughly investigated the allegations raised by the officer, undertaking extremely detailed inquiries and affording the officer full protection and support as a reporter of wrongdoing.

In September 2014, the DPS received information regarding the alleged inappropriate destruction of documentation this was investigated but no evidence to the support the allegations was initially identified. 

In March 2015, as part of this ongoing investigation, a formal statement was taken from the officer who had made the original allegations in which further details were provided including the allegation that the documents destroyed concerned a named individual. Some additional allegations were made.

These allegations were all investigated as thoroughly as the information provided by the officer permitted. In some cases it was not possible to progress investigations due to a lack of detail provided and in other cases, the allegations proved to be simply false. 

No evidence supporting the allegations that there had been any inappropriate destruction of documents was identified. In fact the lead detective in the case, who spoke to all potential witnesses as part of their investigation, found that the unit was responding positively to demands to improve its document retention procedures by destroying information that it had no need to retain and that therefore, should not be retained.

In particular, the investigation found no evidence to support allegations that information had been destroyed in order to avoid its release as responses to either Freedom of Information Act or Subject Access requests. 

In fact it found that what information had been held on the relevant databases in relation to the individual referred to by the officer in his allegations had been appropriately released to that individual following their requests for that information and that this had happened many months prior to the time the officer claimed the information had been inappropriately destroyed. 

At the time the officer made his formal statement he was offered the appropriate support and status as a Reporter of Wrong Doing. This included the offer of direct contact with a named senior officer in DPS to discuss any concerns he may have either about the progress of the investigation or if he felt in anyway victimised as a result of the allegations he had raised. Despite regular contact between the two officers during the investigation no such concerns regarding victimisation were raised or have been subsequently raised.

In October 2015, the officer who had raised the concerns subsequently made an allegation of bullying regarding a senior officer within their unit. A counter-allegation of misconduct was made. Both allegations were investigated locally and both officers received management action as a result. There was no suggestion made that this matter was related to the earlier reporting of wrong-doing.

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