Grenfell Tower council ‘may have committed corporate manslaughter’

Police letter to survivors and victims’ families says there are reasonable grounds for claims

At least 80 people died in a fire at the Grenfell Tower apartment block in June. Photograph: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images

At least 80 people died in a fire at the Grenfell Tower apartment block in June. Photograph: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images

 

The Scotland Yard investigation into the Grenfell Tower disaster in London has said there are “reasonable grounds” to suspect the council and the organisation that managed the flats of corporate manslaughter.

In a letter sent to survivors and the families of those who died, police said the assessment follows the seizing of documents and taking of a large number of witness statements.

In their letter, police said: “After an initial assessment of that information, the officer leading the investigation has today notified Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation that there are reasonable grounds to suspect that each organisation may have committed the offence of corporate manslaughter, under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007.”

The letter adds: “In due course, a senior representative of each corporation will be formally interviewed by police in relation to the potential offence.”

In a statement to the media Scotland Yard said: “The Met started an investigation into the cause and spread of the fire at Grenfell Tower on June 14th. Since then we have stated that it is a criminal investigation, considering the full range of offences from corporate manslaughter to regulatory breaches.

“This is a complex and far-reaching investigation that by its very nature will take a considerable time to complete.

“The Met has made a commitment to the families who lost loved ones in the fire and survivors that they will be kept updated, as far as we possibly can, as the investigation continues. As is routine, we will not give a running commentary on this investigation.”

At least 80 people died in a fire at the London apartment block in June.

Guardian service