An inquest jury found this afternoon that mistakes by the Metropolitan Police “probably” contributed to the deaths of the victims of serial killer Stephen Port, leading to calls for Cressida Dick’s resignation.
Officers missed repeated opportunities to catch Port who is serving a whole-life sentence for the murders of four young men in Barking, east London.
Known as the ‘Grindr killer’, Port killed Anthony Walgate, Gabriel Kovari, Daniel Whitworth, and Jack Taylor using lethal doses of the “date rape” drug GHB after finding them on the dating app.
Police failed to link the deaths between June 2014 and September 2015 despite two of the bodies being found in the same location.
An inquest jury found that police failings in the investigation into the death of Mr Walgate, Port’s first victim, “probably” contributed to the fatalities of Mr Kovari and Mr Whitworth, reported Sky News this afternoon.
It was also revealed that detectives turned down help during the investigations, and ignored concerns by the victims’ families.
However, the most striking error is perhaps the ten month delay in the police submitting for forensic analysis of Port’s laptop after it was seized following the first murder.
The laptop contained repeated searches for drug rape videos, and would have been key evidence in tracking down the killer.
The victims’ families are calling on Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick to resign.
A statement released by the victims’ families said they believed the officers’ actions were “in part, driven by homophobia”.
“Had four, white, heterosexual girls been found dead in the same manner as Anthony, Gabriel, Daniel and Jack, then the police’s actions, and the likely outcomes, would have been different,” they said.
It also comes in a wider context of a series of Met Police failings, including the murder of Sarah Everard by a working police officer at the start of 2021, and two police officers who took images of the murdered bodies of Deniz Jaffer and Jamie Lewis and shared them on a work WhatsApp group.