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Met Police confirms they are investigating eight of 12 dates considered by Cabinet Office The Metropolitan Police have confirmed they are investigatin

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Met Police confirms they are investigating eight of 12 dates considered by Cabinet Office

The Metropolitan Police have confirmed they are investigating eight of the 12 dates considered by the Cabinet Office as part of their own investigation into alleged gatherings on Government premises during Covid restrictions.

The dates in 2020 are: May 20, June 18, June 19, November 13, December 17, December 18, and in 2021: January 14 and April 16.

Read the Met’s statement in full below:

“Our position from the start has been that, while we don’t normally investigate breaches reported long after they are said to have taken place, if significant evidence became available we would assess it.

“That is now the situation and why we have acted.

“As part of the investigation it is necessary for us to contact those who attended these events to get their account. As a result, the Met has requested that any information identified as part of the Cabinet Office investigation about these events, is not disclosed in detail. This request only applies for the duration of our investigation and does not apply to events we are not investigating.

“The reason this request is necessary is that in any investigation officers seek independent accounts from each individual, as free from the influence of others’ recollections as possible. Officers would also seek to avoid providing details of their investigation in advance to those they contact, so that individuals are not tempted to shape their accounts according to what is in the public domain.

“This is a standard approach in all investigations to ensure that how people engage with our investigation is not prejudiced, and not a judgement on the individuals who attended these specific events.

“Having received the documentation from the Cabinet Office on Friday 28 January, we are now reviewing it at pace to confirm which individuals will need to be contacted for their account. This prioritisation will include reviewing all the material from the Cabinet Office, which includes more than 300 images and over 500 pages of information.

“If following an investigation, officers believe it is appropriate, because the Covid regulations have been breached without a reasonable excuse, a fixed penalty notice would normally be issued. Once the penalty is paid, the matter is considered closed. Alternatively individuals may decide to dispute the notice. In these circumstances officers will consider whether to pursue the matter in a magistrates’ court.

“We do understand that the Met’s action in assessing and responding to these allegations will divide opinion. However police officers must, based on the information available to them, make carefully considered, difficult decisions, even when to do so is contentious.

“We understand the interest in and impact of this case, and will be progressing the investigation at pace. We are committed to completing our investigations proportionately, fairly and impartially.”

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