On Thursday March 31st 2011, Acting Commissioner Tim Godwin made a public apology to the family of Daniel Morgan, a private investigator murdered in south London in March 1987. The apology was delivered at the full monthly meeting of the Metropolitan Police Authority at City Hall. The Met have admitted police corruption in the first of five failed inquiries into the murder, the last of which collapsed after nineteen months of pre-trial hearings at the Old Bailey on March 11th this year.

The family’s representative on the Authority, Jennette Arnold, read a statement from the family:

“Twenty-four years after Daniel’s murder, the Met has finally admitted that their first investigation of this crime was crippled by police corruption.

We were aware of this within three weeks of the murder: we said so then, and we have been saying so ever since.

Through two decades and more of public protests, meetings with police officers at the highest ranks, lobbying of politicians and pleas to the media, we have found ourselves lied to, fobbed off, bullied, degraded and let down time and time again. What we have been required to endure has been nothing short of torture.

When we last came to the MPA in 2005, we had been told by the Met that we could not look to the criminal justice system for anything more after four failed investigations. We had also been told by the Home Office that we could not look to them for any scrutiny of what had taken place. We then approached the MPA to seek support for our call for a judicial inquiry into the handling of Daniel’s murder by the Met. The response of the MPA at that stage was to its credit: for the first time in two decades, we found persons in authority who were not afraid of taking responsibility for the implications of the police corruption that had blighted our lives.

It was in that context that the Met announced that they had decided to reopen the case and, after much hesitation, we again offered them our full trust and support. Six years later, after a collapsed prosecution and millions spent from the public purse, a full judicial inquiry into the handling of this case by the Met is even more urgently required.

We therefore return to the MPA today to seek support for our call for a full judicial inquiry, mindful of words uttered by Assistant Commissioner John Yates at a meeting with Kit Malthouse and Boris Johnson in February 2009: “This case is one of the most deplorable episodes in the entire history of the Metropolitan Police Service. This family has been treated disgracefully”.

(Jennette Arnold will also be putting questions to the Acting Commissioner.)

The family are seeking the support of the MPA for a full judicial inquiry into the Met’s handling of the case from 1987-2011.


We note Detective Chief Superintendent Hamish Campbell’s public admission on 11th March 2011 that “police corruption was a debilitating factor” in the first investigation into Daniel’s murder:

It is regrettable that this admission has come 24 years too late, since this corruption was quite apparent to us within weeks of Daniel’s murder in March 1987. Since then, we have used all available avenues to draw this to the attention of the proper authorities. For our pains, we have met with wilful blindness and even downright obstruction from those who should have known better:

• In 1988-90, the investigation conducted by Hampshire Police under the supervision of the Police Complaints Authority, resulted in a conclusion that “there is no evidence of wilful action(s) on behalf of any member of the Metropolitan Police Murder Investigation squad to prevent the murder being properly detected”

• In 1997, in response to concerns expressed by Chris Smith MP that serious corruption was being covered up, former Commissioner Sir Paul Condon asserted to the then Home Secretary Jack Straw MP that “there were some allegations that a senior officer was involved in the murder but these allegations were thoroughly investigated and proved to be incorrect”.

• In July 1999, following a third investigation conducted by the Metropolitan Police, behind our backs, former Deputy Assistant Commissioner Roy Clark informed our solicitor that “his assessment of the original MPS investigation was that it was good”, and that “the [second] Hampshire inquiry was also a good one, with the intention of bringing the murderers to justice”.

• In July 2004, at an adjournment debate called by Roger Williams MP in the House of Commons, former Home Office Minister Caroline Flint MP informed the House that “the Metropolitan Police accept that the original investigation falls below current investigative standards, but that it was consistent with the standards of the day”.

Against this history of failure at the highest ranks of the Metropolitan Police to confront reality, we invite members of the Metropolitan Police Authority to consider the implications of the evidence available to them from the earliest stages, i.e. that:

• Daniel was murdered because he was about to expose corrupt links between police officers and organised criminals in South East London.

• Daniel’s place in his private investigators company had been taken over by a member of the original murder inquiry, former Detective Sergeant Sidney Fillery.

The stark fact remains that, after five investigations at a cost to the public purse of between 30 and 50 million pounds, none of Daniel’s murderers have been brought to justice, and no action has been taken against those within the Metropolitan Police who helped to ensure that the murderers were protected from justice.

In that light, we consider it is incumbent upon members of the Authority to support our call for a full and thorough judicial inquiry into the handling of Daniel’s murder by the Metropolitan Police over the last 24 years.

23 March 2011
Alastair Morgan

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Link to the website of the Daniel Morgan Independent Panel
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