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Update on Grenfell Tower fire investigation: Met Police outline progress ahead of anniversary

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Progress report on Grenfell Tower fire investigation

Ahead of the anniversary of the Grenfell Tower tragedy, detectives from the Met Police have outlined the progress of the criminal investigation as they move towards the next stage of their enquiries.

Since the events of 14 June 2017, the Metropolitan Police has been fully committed to investigating the fire to identify any criminal offences and determine who is responsible.

A team of 180 officers and staff remain dedicated to the investigation.

Key developments and findings

Detectives have identified and are investigating 19 companies or organisations and 58 individuals as suspects.

They have entered an “early investigative advice” phase, submitting eight of 20 advice files to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

Over 50 suspects have been interviewed under caution for more than 300 hours.

The investigation team has spent over a year forensically examining Grenfell Tower, painstakingly removing its exterior piece by piece.

They have collated over 27,000 exhibits, which are stored in a 635m² warehouse.

These exhibits include cladding, insulation, doors, windows, and other building parts.

Volume of evidence and future steps

The team has followed up more than 27,000 separate lines of enquiry and taken over 12,000 witness statements.

They have retrieved more than 152 million documents and files and evaluated 1,600 witness statements from the Grenfell Tower Public Inquiry, including 300 days of evidence and over 320,000 documents.

Later this year, the public inquiry is expected to publish its Phase 2 report.

This will be a landmark moment for those directly affected by the fire and for the police investigation.

The police believe it will take at least 12-18 months to fully assess the inquiry’s report and complete evidential files for the CPS.

Statements from authorities

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Stuart Cundy stated: “At the heart of the police investigation are the bereaved and survivors, who have gone through so much.

“I can’t pretend to imagine the impact of such a long police investigation on them.

“Those who are most deeply affected have our commitment that we are doing all we can to get this investigation right.

“We owe that to those who died and all those affected by the tragedy. We are moving as quickly as we can, but we must be thorough and diligent in our investigation.”

Rosemary Ainslie, head of the CPS Special Crime Division, said: “The police anticipate sending complete files of evidence to us by 2026.

“There is great benefit in this case that we have been working closely with police throughout and will therefore be in a strong position to consider the final evidential files when they have been completed.”

Future of the investigation

The investigation is one of the largest and most complex ever undertaken by the Met.

The scale and legal complexity are immense, and the inquiry’s Phase 1 report was more than 800 pages long.

The Phase 2 report is expected to be substantially longer and much more complex.

A team of specialist prosecutors from the CPS will carefully consider all the evidence, with the hope of making charging decisions by the end of 2026.

The Met noted that it is not possible to provide a definitive date on when all decisions will be completed.

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