New Met Cover-up in Daniel Morgan Murder
The Metropolitan police is refusing to disclose an academic paper which it claims undermines the finding of a landmark independent report that the UK’s biggest force is “institutionally corrupt”.
The Daniel Morgan Independent Panel (DMIP) criticised the force in a report last June after an 8-year probe into its repeated failure to solve the 1987 axe murder of Morgan, a private investigator, or to be honest with his family and the public.
The DMIP report concluded that:
“The Metropolitan Police’s culture of obfuscation and a lack of candour is unhealthy in any public service. Concealing or denying failings, for the sake of the organisation’s public image, is dishonesty on the part of the organisation for reputational benefit. This constitutes a form of ‘institutional corruption’”.
Much to the Morgan family’s outrage, Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick, as ever, immediately went on a media offensive rejecting this key finding in the DMIP’s 1250-page report, including that she had been obstructive.
The Met’s anti-corruption squad, aka The Untouchables, whose secret hand guided much of the Met’s approach to Morgan’s murder, was tasked with putting together a response under the name Operation Drayfurn.
It was hardly going to call out their boss, and didn’t disappoint. The 45-page report published on 18 March was largely ignored amid the bombing of Ukraine. But The Upsetter was drawn to its mention of an “academic workshop” that convened last November to discuss the concept of institutional corruption.
However, when asked to disclose the membership of that workshop, the Met refused.
Only one researcher, Allyson MacVean OBE, a professor of policing at Bath Spa University, is identified by the Drayfurn report. She is the author of the academic paper that the Met is relying on to claim it is not institutionally corrupt. But when asked for a copy of the paper, the Met refused.
It’s not as if the Drayfurn report’s summary of MacVean’s paper is intelligible. It says:
The Upsetter hoped that Prof MacVean would be less secretive about how she arrived at findings the Met has found so helpful.
The academic has a close association with the police establishment. She worked at the Home Office on covert policing before setting up the John Grieve Centre for Policing and Community Safety, which is named after the founder of the Untouchables and the Met’s former head of intelligence.
MacVean and Grieve collaborated on several academic papers on policing ethics. She has also worked with another Untouchable, Commander Peter Spindler. He was criticised by the DMIP report for failing to properly investigate Dave Cook, the corrupt senior detective behind the collapse of the last Morgan murder prosecution in 2011.
According to the Drayfurn report, MacVean “independently” wrote the academic paper that just happened to dismiss the DMIP's key charge of institutional corruption.
Alas, when contacted by phone, Prof MacVean refused to discuss her paper or provide a copy.
She did, however, admit that it was not peer reviewed - the established practise of having work critiqued by independent academic experts usually as a prerequisite to publication in an academic journal.
MacVean said her paper was instead read by the members of the workshop, who she and the Met would not name.
The Morgan family has now raised the Met’s failure to produce the academic paper with Kit Malthouse, the policing minister. He said he was unaware.
And so it goes.
Update - 10 October 2022
Following calls to the press office after The Upsetter published the above article, the Met finally released the academic paper it claims undermines the finding of ‘institutional corruption’ arrived at by the Daniel Morgan Independent Panel (DMIP) in June 2021.
It was a damning finding that applied as much to the Met in general as to its anti-corruption squad, which is supposed to tackle corruption in all forms not cover it up to protect the reputation of the force.
The Met has also now published the names of the academic workshop who assisted Professor MacVean arrive (through some mumbo jumbo) at the conclusion that the force was not institutionally corrupt.
As suspected, the workshop was stuffed with Met personnel retired and serving. First up was Prof MacVean’s old chum John Grieve, a retired deputy assistant commissioner who set up the Met’s anti-corruption initiative in 1993 and on his retirement became a professor in an academy named after him and which he co-founded with MacVean.
Then there are three serving Met officers and one Met civilian. In order of rank, up first is deputy assistant commissioner Barbara Gray, who came from the Northern Ireland police to the Met in the same month the DMIP report was published in June 2021.
Gray was quickly appointed to the academic workshop that tried to undermine the DMIP finding. Last month, she was promoted to assistant commissioner with a responsibility for professionalism and given a seat on the Met Management Board that advises new commissioner Sir Mark Rowley, who has promised to clean up the Met.
Then there is Commander Jon Savell, the head of anti-corruption at the Directorate of Professional Standards (DPS), whose command was not only criticised by the DMIP but also by the regulator this year who found the DPS not fit for purpose.
Tail end charlies in the academic workshop are Detective Chief Inspector Dan O’Sullivan and Dionne Mitchell. She recently retired from the Met as a superintendent after 30 years but has returned as a civilian and works as a strategic advisor in the Met unit that responds to public inquiries.
The academic workshop also had two members who were not in the police. One was a professor who specialised in transplant surgery and the other a non-executive director of a NHS trust.
And so it goes.