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Wednesday 20th
posted by Lamiat Sabin in Britain

Coppers consider criminal charges over fire

A CRIMINAL investigation into the Grenfell Tower tragedy could consider individual as well as corporate manslaughter charges, the Metropolitan Police said yesterday.

Detective Chief Inspector Matt Bonner told reporters that the investigation would deal with “whatever offences come to light.”

“The kind of stuff I would envisage we may come across would involve offences perhaps of fraud, misconduct offences, health and safety breaches, breaches of fire safety regulations and of course offences of manslaughter, whether that be on a corporate or an individual level.”

Police have seized 31 million documents and 2,500 exhibits as part of their investigation so far. They have identified 2,400 individuals to question and taken more than 1,000 statements.

Some 336 organisations have been identified as having “varying degrees of involvement” in the construction, refurbishment and management parts of the investigation.

Commander Stuart Cundy said 60 of the estimated 80 people killed by the June 14 fire have been formally identified, adding that the exact number would be uncertain until the investigation was complete.

Detective Superintendent Fiona McCormack said a lot of the remains are “very fragmented,” with only “a small piece of bone or tissue” being used to identify victims.

Forensic examination of the tower will run into the new year, followed by lab testing.

Detectives are investigating eight fraud cases involving people who claimed money after the fire. Two people have been charged, one is on bail and others are being investigated.

Police are also looking into four alleged thefts from flats on the lower floors while the building was under 24-hour security — or whether missing items were moved into storage.

The TUC is publishing new fire safety guidance for trade union representatives today.

It sets out the law, explains what is required from a thorough fire safety assessment and looks at how to implement fire safety policies in buildings — especially those with flammable cladding and insulation similar to that installed in Grenfell Tower.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “We must never see a repeat of the Grenfell Tower tragedy. The government needs to act now and ensure that all high-rise buildings are safe, including those used as workplaces.

“Union reps have a key role to play in pressing employers to make sure that their buildings are safe.”