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Met Police War Crimes Team supporting International Criminal Court investigation

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Met Police War Crimes Team supporting International Criminal Court investigation

The Metropolitan Police’s War Crimes Team is gathering evidence in relation to alleged war crimes in Ukraine in support of the International Criminal Court (ICC) investigation, which was confirmed by the ICC Prosecutor on 2 March.

The War Crimes Team is part of the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command and has national responsibility for carrying out any UK enquiries into war crimes and core international crimes. Detectives are appealing for anyone in the UK who may have direct evidence of war crimes in Ukraine from 21 November 2013 to present.

Officers are particularly keen to hear from anyone who may themselves have witnessed or been the victim of any war crimes in Ukraine at any time from 21 November 2013 onwards.

Evidence provided to and gathered by the Met’s War Crimes Team may then be shared with the ICC to assist with their ongoing investigation. At this time, and in line with jointly established guidelines with the Crown Prosecution Service, there is no UK-based investigation by the War Crimes Team into war crimes in Ukraine.

To report a suspected war crime to the War Crimes team, visit our online reporting tool at: https://www.met.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/war-crimes/af/report-a-war-crime/

Commander Richard Smith, Head of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, which includes the War Crimes Team said: “Following the news that the ICC had opened an investigation into war crimes in Ukraine, our War Crimes Team is now seeking to gather any evidence that might be present here in the UK of such crimes in Ukraine.

“This could be in the form of direct messages, images or videos that friends or relatives here in the UK have been sent by those in Ukraine. Or it could be somebody who was previously in Ukraine and who may have witnessed or even been a victim of a war crime and has since travelled to the UK.

“To be clear though, we specifically want to hear from people who are now here in the UK, and who have a direct link to any relevant information or evidence – this is not about the general public highlighting or telling us about things they might have simply come across or seen in the media, online or on social media.”

Officers based at UK ports are also being briefed in relation to this matter, so that they can help to make those arriving in the UK, having recently been in Ukraine, aware that they can report and provide any evidence to the War Crimes Team and that any evidence gathered from this may then be shared with the ongoing ICC investigation.

Officers from the War Crimes Team are also working closely with relevant UK Government and NGO (non-governmental organisation) partners as well as consulting with international partners to help coordinate the gathering and provision of evidence to the ICC.

Anyone with information can report it via: https://www.met.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/war-crimes/af/report-a-war-crime/

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The Met Police War Crimes Unit sits within the Met Police Counter Terrorism Command. It is committed to investigating and bringing to justice anyone who may fall under the UK’s jurisdiction and who is suspected of committing war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide or torture anywhere in the world. This approach directly supports the UK Government’s ‘no safe haven’ policy.

Such investigations often require enquiries to be made overseas and evidence to be secured from abroad, so they can be very complex and lengthy.

All allegations of war crimes referred to the War Crimes Team are considered, assessed and dealt with in line with the War Crimes/Crimes Against Humanity referral guidelines, which are jointly agreed with the Crown Prosecution Service
CPS - https://www.cps.gov.uk/publication/war-crimescrimes-against-humanity-referral-guidelines

The War Crimes Team is part of the UK War Crimes Network, which is comprised of a number of key bodies, including the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, Crown Prosecution Service and other government and non-government organisations, all working together to ensure the UK is not a safe haven for war criminals.

More information about War Crimes and how to report something to War Crimes Team is available on our website: https://www.met.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/war-crimes/what-is-a-war-crime/

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