The Metropolitan Police has apologized to the family of private detective Daniel Morgan, who was murdered in 1987. In acknowledgment of their failures during the investigation of his death, the police force has settled and admitted liability.
Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley expressed deep regret, acknowledging that the family of Mr. Morgan had been consistently and unjustifiably let down by the police force throughout the entire inquiry process. He further stated that a disturbing pattern of corruption, professional incompetence, and defensiveness marred the case.
According to Sir Mark, the family had been subjected to empty promises and false hope as the police force prioritized its reputation over transparency and effectiveness. Despite five investigations and an inquest, no one has been convicted for the murder of Mr. Morgan, resulting in an estimated cost of over £40 million.
The tragic incident occurred when Mr. Morgan was discovered with an axe lodged in his head in the car park of a pub in Sydenham, south-east London.
In 2021, an independent panel made a significant finding that the Metropolitan Police had repeatedly concealed its shortcomings to safeguard its reputation, leading to what was described as “institutional corruption.” As a result, the panel expressed doubt that anyone would be held accountable for the wrongdoings.
Led by Baroness O’Loan, the panel’s report shed light on the ongoing struggle for justice faced by the family affected. In response to the settlement, the commissioner acknowledged that no words could truly convey the pain and suffering endured by the family over more than three decades as they fought for justice—a fight that no family should ever have to endure. He recognized their unwavering determination, which had exposed numerous systemic failures within the organization.
Having personally met with the family and listened to their poignant and heartfelt accounts of the profound impact caused by these failures, the commissioner acknowledged the erosion of their trust in policing. He reaffirmed his unwavering commitment to addressing corruption within the organization, a commitment that had only grown stronger since assuming the role of commissioner.
Both the family and the police have agreed not to disclose the specific terms of the agreement.