The Metropolitan Police has been accused of “a form of institutional corruption” for concealing or denying failings over the unsolved murder of private investigator Daniel Morgan.
To protect and serve itself
A report by an independent panel said the force’s first objective was to “protect itself” for failing to acknowledge its many failings since Morgan’s murder, the panel’s chairman baroness Nuala O’Loan said.
Morgan was killed with an axe in the car park of the Golden Lion pub in Sydenham, South-East London, on 10 March 1987. Despite five police inquiries and an inquest, no-one has been brought to justice over the father-of-two’s death, with the Metropolitan Police admitting corruption hampered the original murder investigation.
The Met owes Morgan’s family, and the public, an apology for not confronting its systemic failings and those of individual officers, the report said.
In a statement through their lawyer, the family of Morgan said:
We welcome the recognition that we – and the public at large – have been failed over the decades by a culture of corruption and cover up in the Metropolitan Police, an institutionalised corruption that has permeated successive regimes in the Metropolitan Police and beyond to this day.
The family said they had been aware of police corruption at the heart of the investigation three weeks after the murder, and have been lobbying for justice and transparency for more than three decades. They said:
At almost every step, we found ourselves lied to, fobbed off, bullied, degraded and let down time and time again. What we were required to endure was nothing less than torture, and that has changed our relationship with this country forever.
The family said the Met and the Home Office had repeatedly refused to address the “serious police corruption and criminality” surrounding the murder, even though it was “staring them in the face”. They said:
The panel has shown the courage that was so signally lacking from all those previously tasked to look at this case. In identifying the culture of corruption and cover-up at the highest ranks of the Metropolitan Police that has blighted our lives through these decades, the panel’s report has finally named the sickness that needs to be addressed.
The Morgan family said the lengthy report was an “accurate reflection” of their experiences.
They said it reflected the “complicity and worse of the British state in all its guises in the police corruption and criminality that has wracked our lives”.
The family called on senior figures in the Metropolitan Police to “stop protecting those who came before you”.
It said former leaders of the force had “deliberately turned away from the stench of police corruption” and “sought to manage the fallout from that corruption instead of confronting it”.
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