Thursday 25 June 2009


This from a press release from Inquest:

Today the Metropolitan Police Authority and the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police conceded to the family’s request that the full report by former Commander John Cass into the death of Blair Peach in Southall in 1979 should be disclosed, subject to any legally necessary redactions. This momentous decision followed an ongoing campaign that was given added momentum following the death of Ian Tomlinson during the G20 protests and the similarities between the two fatal indicents. Prior to the MPA meeting today, INQUEST met MPA member Jenny Jones, Blair’s former partner Celia Stubbs and his brother Philip Peach to discuss the motion requestingdisclosure.

Deborah Coles, Co-Director of INQUEST, said:

We welcome the lifting of the veil of secrecy surrounding this death that has undermined family and public confidence in the Metropolitan Police Service. The challenge now is to ensure that there is as full disclosure as legally possible and that reasons are given for any redactions given ongoing public concern about this process.

It was the negative experience of Blair Peach's family and friends with the investigation and inquest system that led them to join with others to set up INQUEST in 1981. Sadly, the need for the organisation remains as urgent today. Non-disclosure of evidence has been one of the most problematic issues following deaths in custody and has seriously undermined family and public confidence in the police complaints system. The whole basis on which the Cass report has been withheld from the Peach family for 30 years has been discredited and it is accepted by government that the results of investigations into deaths following police contact are now disclosed to families.

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