Report into Met Police’s serial killer inquiry ‘will identify multiple failures’

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A “damning” report on the initial investigation into the deaths of serial killer Stephen Port’s victims is expected to find multiple failures and missed opportunities.

Port drugged and raped four young men and dumped their bodies near his home in Barking, east London.

He was found guilty at the Old Bailey of their murders and was handed a whole life sentence in November 2016.

The victims’ families have demanded to know why he was not stopped sooner and have jointly instructed specialist lawyers Hudgell Solicitors.

In a meeting with the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), they were told its report into the Metropolitan Police initial response will be damning and identify multiple failures and missed opportunities, according to their spokeswoman.

Stephen Port court case
Stephen Port’s victims (left to right): Daniel Whitworth, 21, Jack Taylor, 25, Anthony Walgate, 23, and Gabriel Kovari, 22 (Metropolitan Police/PA)

They were also told that the report would be sent to the Metropolitan Police by the end of May.

It is hoped the families will see the report soon afterwards, although its findings may be not be made public until after the victims’ inquests have concluded.

Their lawyer, Neil Hudgell, said: “The families were pleased to have an opportunity to meet with the IOPC and express their frustrations about how slow the investigation has been.

“They want to see the report and have answers about why their loved one is no longer with them.”

In total, the actions of 17 officers are under investigation.

In November last year, the High Court quashed the original inquests into the deaths of two of Port’s victims, Mr Whitworth and 22-year-old Gabriel Kovari, paving the way for all four victims’ inquests to be held together in 2019.

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