The Independent Police Complaints Commission, who are currently investigating the Metropolitan Police for their response to the deaths of four men in London are looking for witnesses who may have had contact with Stephen Port to come forward.
The IPCC is investigating the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) response following the deaths of Anthony Walgate, 23, Gabriel Kovari, 22, Daniel Whitworth, 21, and Jack Taylor, 25. Stephen Port was found guilty of their murders following a trial at the Old Bailey in London.
The bodies of all four men were found in the Barking area, between June 2014 and September 2015.
The Metropolitan Police Service referred itself to the IPCC in October 2015 after it identified concerns regarding the initial investigations into the men’s deaths.
Stephen Port was a member of a number of services and had a variety of handles on services, these were: shyfitguy on Flirt, Daddy4son2012 on Daddyhunt, topdomhunk on Hornet, knockknock2014 on PlanetRomeo, untilwemeet on Manhunt and StephenPort on Couchsurfing.
On gaydar his profile name was, skygay502 and on Grindr he was known as Top Fun Joe.
Peter Tatchell, gay rights activist, said,
“Appallingly, even after the third murder the police were still maintaining that the deaths were ‘unusual’ but ‘not suspicious.’ They did not issue a public alert to the gay community that a serial killer could be on the loose. This failing ignored Met Police best practice advice which was agreed two decades ago, after previous murders of gay men.
“The police appeal for public information came in October 2015 – a year too late. Four young men were already dead. This appeal should have been made in August 2014 after the first two killings. If the police had done this, further deaths may have been prevented. Two of these men might still be alive.
IPCC Commissioner Cindy Butts said,
“Today our thoughts are with everybody affected by the tragic deaths of Anthony, Gabriel, Daniel and Jack at the hands of Stephen Port.
“It is important we establish whether the police response to the deaths of all four men was thorough and appropriate in the circumstances, including whether discrimination played any part in actions and decisions. As his trial established, Port was known to the police in connection to the death Mr Walgate. We now know that tragically, three more young men went on to lose their lives.
“I have met with LGBT community members in Barking and Dagenham to explain the IPCC’s role, and would like to provide the assurance that our investigators are continuing to work hard to scrutinise the police response to the tragic deaths of these four young men.
“We would like to hear from anybody who provided information to the police about Port, or any of his victims, between 19 June 2014 and 15 October 2015.”
Anyone with information should contact the IPCC on 0800 151 0021 or email barking&[email protected]