Watchdog probe into Greater Manchester Police

Three allegations by whistleblower are being investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

Latest ITV News reports

Families will "feel betrayed"

A relative of one of Harold Shipman's victims said they should have been informed about the storage and disposal of human tissue.

Suzanne Turner, the granddaughter of Edith Brock, said many families will "feel betrayed" by the police.

Mrs Brock, 74, was murdered by Shipman during a house call he made to her home in November 1995.

We, as a family, fortunately never had to go through the horrors of my nan being exhumed for postmortem.

The decision not to inform relatives about the storage and disposal of the tissue in my opinion is very wrong.

They stated back in November that they 'agonised' as to whether to inform relatives.

History tells us that these things leak out to the public domain.

I am sure relatives felt betrayed by the poor judgement of GMP. We must have an open and honest system.

GMP failed.

– Suzanne Turner, the granddaughter of Edith Brock

Which is worse I ask myself - being told that they were disposing of the tissue and the rational for it but assuring relatives that it would be disposed of in a dignified way, or it coming out into the publish domain and knowing that not only did they dispose of it but you were given the details as an after thought, and additionally, why the secrecy?

Families must be allowed to move on, they have lived the most horrific crime out in the glare of the media.

– Suzanne Turner, the granddaughter of Edith Brock

Human tissue samples were taken from 12 women killed by Shipman to establish cause of death, it was previously reported.

They were kept in storage for a number of years to ensure that police had the appropriate evidence should the murderer or his family appeal against his conviction.

Advertisement

Hillsborough investigator has left his post

Assistant Commissioner Jon Stoddart, who is leading the new inquiry into the Hillsborough disaster, said he had informed the families that Mr Sweeney had returned to Greater Manchester Police.

I am aware of the ongoing investigations being carried out by the IPCC in relation to Greater Manchester Police and specific officers, including Assistant Chief Constable Terry Sweeney.

The allegations made relate to ACC Sweeney's role at Greater Manchester Police. ACC Sweeney has returned to his post at Greater Manchester Police and will cooperate fully with the IPCC investigation until these matters are concluded.

I have taken steps to inform the Hillsborough families and other interested parties.

I and my team remain absolutely committed to supporting the forthcoming inquests.

– Assistant Commissioner Jon Stoddart, Operation Resolve

GMP Chief vows to cooperate with IPCC

GMP's Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy said the allegations were serious but pledged that officers would not be distracted from their duty to keep the public safe.

I have stated before that the decisions dealing with the aftermath of the Shipman investigation were complex and sensitive, our priority was to avoid causing further distress to the families.

We will be cooperating with the Independent Police Complaints Commission as we want to ensure the allegations raised are brought to a satisfactory conclusion.

We hope this can be done swiftly.

– Sir Peter Fahy, Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police

Watchdog probe into Greater Manchester Police

The IPCC said the GMP whistleblower has made a number of allegations including cronyism among senior officers, failure to follow correct procedures, failure to investigate complaints properly and corruption.

Following an IPCC assessment, all other allegations outside of the three investigations have been returned to GMP for the force to deal with.

Officers whose actions will be investigated range from the rank of constable up to GMP’s Assistant Chief Constable, Terry Sweeney.

He was seconded to work on Operation Resolve, the police investigation into the Hillsborough disaster, but has now returned to GMP.

These are serious allegations and the gravity and nature of the allegations, and the fact that they are made against senior officers within the force, means they must be investigated independently.

We will also look at the wider organisational response by Greater Manchester Police in each of these investigations.

We know that the families involved will have been through very distressing times, and we will be sensitive to this as we conduct our investigations.

– Jan Williams, IPCC Commissioner

Advertisement

Police watchdog launches probe into Greater Manchester Police after Shipman claim by whistleblower

The Independent Police Complaints Commission has launched three investigations into Greater Manchester Police following allegations made by an officer serving in the force.

The three investigations will examine:

  • Whether GMP officers misled families and the public when human tissue from victims of serial killer Harold Shipman was disposed
  • Claims that an investigation into alleged sexual abuse was poorly handled and the alleged failings covered-up by GMP
  • The actions of a Detective Chief Inspector over alleged unauthorised bugging of a GMP office. The force has told the IPCC that this bugging did take place.