Eight Metropolitan Police officers are being investigated over their handling of the Stephen Port case. 

In June 2014, Port called police and claimed he had found Anthony Walgate, who died from a drug overdose, collapsed outside his front door in Cooke Street, Barking. 

Police later discovered Port had in fact taken Anthony home, drugged him and then dumped his body outside. 

He was charged with perverting the course of justice, but not investigated over involvement in the death. 

Anthony’s loved ones felt his death was suspicious, but said they felt police dismissed them because he was a gay sex worker with drugs in his system. 

Port went on to kill three more men: Gabriel Kovari, Daniel Whitworth and Jack Taylor and was handed a whole life sentence in 2016.

On Thursday (November 16) the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) announced that it is investigating the conduct of five current and three former Met Police officers for their handling of the murders.

This comes after the IOPC announced it was re-investigating the Met’s handling of the case in June 2022 following new evidence which was revealed at the inquest hearings which concluded in late 2021. 

Newham Recorder: Stephen Port was given a whole life sentence in 2016Stephen Port was given a whole life sentence in 2016 (Image: Met Police)

Solicitor Neil Hudgell, speaking on behalf of the victim’s families, said: “The families of Anthony, Gabriel, Daniel and Jack very much welcome today’s announcement that eight officers are to be investigated for gross misconduct.   

 “Given the history of this case and frustrations of the past, they are cautiously encouraged by the reopening of the investigation, which must be seen to be full and fearless, and with the complete cooperation of the Metropolitan Police Service and the officers under scrutiny.  No comment interviews simply will not do.” 

Mr Hudgell added: “This latest development is testament to the determination and perseverance the families have shown over the past eight years with regards to the Met Police’s investigations into the loss of their loved ones.     

“We would not have reached this point without their dedication to ensuring full transparency and accountability.”  

The IOPC said it has examined 3,500 documents from various sources, including police investigations, the multiple inquests that have been held, the Port murder trial, the statements given to the original investigation and then to the subsequent inquest. 

IOPC regional director Steve Noonan said: “Our re-investigation has been, and continues to be, thorough and detailed. 

“We recognise it has taken some time to reach this stage, but these are complex matters, involving multiple officers and four investigations into unexplained deaths and then the subsequent murder investigation into Port."

Met Commander Jon Savell said the force is still supporting the IOPC's re-investigation of its initial response to the four men's deaths.

He said: “The deaths of these four young men is a tragedy and we are deeply sorry there were failings in our police response. 

“The whole of the Met is committed to improving our investigations, our relationships and the trust people have in us to keep them safe.

"Since the deaths of Anthony, Gabriel, Daniel and Jack we continue to work hard to ensure the service we provide is better while understanding we have more to do."