Related Sector: Investigations, Covert, Intel & Specialist

As you might be aware, on Monday 19th October, one of the most senior figures involved in the refurbishment of Grenfell Tower, Peter Maddison, has shocked the inquiry into 2017’s fire by making a last-minute disclosure of hundreds of pages of notes from his five-year stint at Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation.

Inquiry lead counsel Richard Millett QC told the inquiry that Maddison’s evidence consisted of five diaries and eight day books that “plainly contain material of the utmost relevance”. He then added “[They will] have to give clear and convincing explanations of why these documents were not disclosed to the inquiry – and so far as we can tell to the Metropolitan Police – until now”.

But it didn’t stop there. We later learnt from Claire Williams, Project Manager for the works at Grenfell, when she was giving her evidence and when asked if she had handed over all of her notebooks, diaries and records, she stated:

“I binned all of them but the last one.” “I didn’t keep them. I think if the police didn’t take them, I binned them.”

Even though the Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996 has been with us for over 20 years, it is still probably the least understood and most often dismissed piece of legislation that is fundamental within any investigative function for ANY investigator or organisation undertaking criminal investigations.

Failure to comply with its principles will have devastating effects. It was changed in 2013 and is once again being synchronised with other legislation such as Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA), Data Protection Act 2018 and General Data Protection Regulations 2018. The question you have to ask is, ‘could we be at risk?’.

Bond Solon offers a 1-day highly practical and informative Disclosure virtual course on a public and in house basis.

This course examines the disclosure framework and the roles of those people involved. It then looks at how sensitive disclosure should be managed and when a public interest immunity hearing should be considered.

For more information please visit our course webpage

Author: Harry Adams, Deputy Director of Covert, Intel & Specialist Training
This article was first published on Friday 22nd January 2021.

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