Update on Stephen Port murders
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has concluded its investigation into the MPS (Metropolitan Police) investigation of the murders of Stephen Port. The MPS received a copy of the final report in August. The IOPC received the response from MPS in October. The IOPC is making their final decisions and will prepare a final report. Once considered, it will be published as soon as possible after all parties affected (MPS, the victims' families etc) have seen the report.
A new coroner inquest into the deaths will be opened. Due to the nature of these cases, a judge will be appointed to conduct the inquests.
Irrespective of the IOPC review and inquest, the LGBT Advisory Group has been working with the MPS on several projects to make sure that lessons are learnt.
1. The Homicide command has reviewed 58 deaths related to the use of the drug GHB, many of the deceased were gay men. This involved two years of work reviewing whether there are any possibility of foulplay in their deaths in the light of what we have learnt about the Port murders. The findings were shared with independent advisors for our input. No suspicious circumstances were found. The review team will produce a report in early 2019 with recommendations for future investigations.
2. More generally, the MPS has reviewed its policy for the investigation of sudden deaths. The learning from the Port case and the GHB deaths review has been incorporated in the evaluation of this new policy.
3. The MPS has produced guidance for reporting crimes in a chemsex scenario, either directly to the police or via third party reporting. This has been done with input from Antidote, Gay Men Health Collective, Galop and the LGBT Advisory Group. The guidance can be easily found by typing "chemsex" into the search engine on the MPS website (http://www.met.police.uk).
Another tragic death due to GHB was reported in the press last week. The LGBT Advisory Group has been assisting in this investigation. One man has been charged with murder.
It is clear that further community messaging is needed to promote reporting and safety messages.
The LGBT Advisory Group will be able to assist in this work.