A serial killer who drugged and murdered four men he met on gay dating sites has been jailed for life.
There is a great deal of criticism in regard to how London Police handled serial killer, Stephen Port.
Seventeen police officers are facing investigation for possible misconduct over failures in catching serial killer Stephen Port.
Scotland Yard admitted "potential opportunities" were missed and investigators failed to see "striking similarities" between the deaths of Port's four victims.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is investigating whether homophobia played a part in the errors. – itv.com
The major points highlighted by Human rights advocate Peter Tatchell about police handling of the serial killings of young gay men in east London from October 2014 are:
– Officers failed to warn & liaise with the LGBT community
– Vital lines of enquiry not pursued.
– Police best practice guidance ignored.
(London, UK – 23 November 2016) Commenting on jury’s guilty verdict and the way police responded to the multiple murders by Stephen Port, he said:
“While timely and commendable, this verdict is no compensation for the loss of four young gay men who had their lives, hopes and dreams cut short.
“Appallingly, even after the third murder the police were still maintaining that the deaths were ‘unusual’ but ‘not suspicious.’ They did not issue a public alert to the gay community that a serial killer could be on the loose. This failing ignored Met Police best practice advice which was agreed two decades ago, after previous murders of gay men.
“The police appeal for public information came in October 2015 – a year too late. Four young men were already dead. This appeal should have been made in August 2014 after the first two killings. If the police had done this, further deaths may have been prevented. Two of these men might still be alive.
“The police let Stephen Port slip though their fingers. He was arrested after the body of Anthony Walgate was found in June 2014 and was later jailed for perverting the course of justice in relation to his death. Astonishingly, officers accepted at face value Port’s explanations concerning the death of Walgate.
“Police failed to adequately check the hand-writing on the fake Daniel Whitworth suicide note, which had been penned by Port to cover up the murder. As far as we know, there was no thorough finger-print and DNA testing of the note, which may have led direct to Port, given that he had been previously arrested and imprisoned for untruths about his links with Walgate.
“Concerns were raised with the police at the time three by friends of two of the victims, Gabriel Kovari and Anthony Walgate, but were ignored. The men’s friends say they felt fobbed off by the police.
“To have three young men found dead in public places in mysterious, unexplained circumstances – all within a few hundred yards of each other and within the space of three months – should have triggered alarm bells.
“From the outset, the police investigation fell far short of thorough and robust.
“The police mishandling of the Stephen Port murders echo their previous failings in other serial killings of gay men, including those by Dennis Nilson, Michael Lupo and Colin Ireland. The lessons from those sub-standard investigations have still not been learned.
“If four young middle class women had been murdered in Mayfair, I believe the police would have made a public appeal much sooner and mounted a far more comprehensive investigation. The killing of low income gay men in working class Barking was treated very differently. Police officers stand accused of class, gender and sexuality bias. – petertatchellfoundation.org
Others have criticized the police activity surrounding this case. Tatchell is close to this case since he knew a friend of one of the victims, Gabriel Kovari.
Over here in America, we have been removed from the case on this side of the pond.
How have others responded in the London LGBT community?
Do you remember the occurrences back in 2014 and how the community reacted?
Do you feel the police may have dropped the ball on this one?
“I am glad there is an IPCC inquiry into what went wrong, including why the police failed to connect the dots and seek the help of the LGBT community after the first two killings of these young gay men. – petertatchellfoundation.org