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Supreme Court ruling re Worboys

News   •   Feb 21, 2018 09:57 GMT

Deputy Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Sir Craig Mackey, said:

The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) fully accepts the decision of the court.

We have always accepted that serious mistakes were made in this investigation and it was only the courage of the victims coming forward, including these two claimants, that enabled us to finally convict Worboys. We know we should have done more in the initial investigation and today, as we did following his conviction, I unreservedly apologise to the victims we failed.

The MPS appealed, and this was supported by the Government, because police forces needed absolute clarity on the boundaries of police responsibility and liability for their investigations. We have always been clear that the appeal to the Supreme Court was not based on factual differences between us and the victims, but on the appropriate interpretation of European human rights law.

This appeal did not seek to recover the compensation and costs awarded to the claimants. Furthermore, the MPS agreed from the outset of the proceedings to pay the legal costs of the claimants whatever the outcome of the appeal – it was important that the issues could be examined through the courts without any financial risk to the claimants.

Victims of serious crimes deserve the best and most professional of investigations. It is the responsibility of police to prevent crime and when that fails, to bring criminals to justice. That is the expectation of everyone involved in policing. Investigations which do not meet the standards are rightly subject to internal and external scrutiny and accountability and we are continually looking at how we can improve and give the best possible service to victims.

The MPS and other forces will now consider the full implications of the judgement and what it means for investigations in the future. There is no doubt that it will have implications for how we resource and prioritise our investigations. We will have to consider how we balance our resources against the need to effectively investigate certain crimes. For example, we may need to consider moving extra resources into an Article Three investigation from other areas, such as fraud. That is the sort of question policing will have to consider as we look at our approach going forward following today’s judgement.