Scotland Yard has lost the case files of thirteen unsolved murders, according to a report in the Daily Mirror. Rumour abounds that corrupt cops may deliberately have destroyed some of these documents relating to homicides during the 1980s.
Operation FileSafe was launched in 2014 to re-examine police archives following allegations that malign Met officers “lost” paperwork linked to the murder of Stephen Lawrence. So far the £3 million inquiry, set to last until 2018, has examined 900,000 files. The report in the Mirror notes:
A 2014 memo marked “restricted” stated: “The MPS [Metropolitan Police Service] does not know what information it holds, where it is stored or how to retrieve it.” Another found last year: “54% of files were missing.”
A Met spokeswoman released the following statement:
At the current time 13 files are classed as missing, but work is ongoing to locate them. We are not prepared to identify those cases where we cannot currently find the files. Due to the age of these cases, we have not informed any of the families as this could cause considerable distress after so many years. To date our efforts in locating some of the files have not suggested that police corruption is a factor. However, this is kept under constant review.
- Jamie Bullen, “Corruption Probe over Scotland Yard’s ‘Lost’ Unsolved Murder Files”, Evening Standard, 23 September 2016 http://www.standard.co.uk/news/crime/corruption-probe-over-scotland-yards-13-lost-unsolved-murder-files-a3352026.html
- Tom Pettifor, “Scotland Yard Launches ‘Bent Cop’ Probe after 13 Unsolved Murder Files Lost”, Daily Mirror, 22 September 2016 http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/scotland-yard-launches-bent-cop-8894444