No charges in Grenfell criminal probe before 2021, police say

No charges are likely to be brought in the criminal investigation into the Grenfell Tower fire for at least the next two years.

The Metropolitan Police said it would be “wrong” not to wait for the final report of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, the second phase of which is unlikely to begin before the end of this year.

Seventy-two people died in the blaze in west London on June 14, 2017.

The officer heading the Met’s investigation into the fire acknowledged that the wait may be longer than some people had expected, but said police must “ensure all the available evidence is considered”.

Grenfell Tower fire investigation
Water being sprayed on Grenfell Tower after the fire (Rick Findler/PA)

Detective Superintendent Matt Bonner said: “We have always said our investigation will be thorough, exploring all reasonable lines of enquiry and examining all the available evidence.

“While the Grenfell Tower Inquiry and the police investigation are independent of each other, our timelines are inextricably linked.

“For our investigation to be considered thorough and complete, it must consider all relevant information and it would be wrong not to take into account evidence given to the public inquiry and its final report and findings.

“We are in regular contact with the bereaved families and survivors as well as the wider community, and have informed them of our projected timeline for the investigation.

“I know this is longer than some might have anticipated, but the police must ensure all the available evidence is considered before any file is submitted to the CPS.”

Scotland Yard said in a statement: “The publication of any final inquiry report will follow phase 2 hearings and so the Met’s assessment is that any file submission to the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) is unlikely to be sooner than the latter part of 2021.”

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