The Independent Police Complaints Commission has today concluded its oversight of the investigation by South Wales Police of former police officers over their alleged actions in the Lynette White murder case.
The IPCC Commissioner for Wales, Mr Tom Davies has today confirmed his satisfaction with the manner in which South Wales Police investigated the allegations.
In response, the Chief Constable of South Wales Police, Peter Vaughan, said:
“It was a courageous decision by my predecessors to pursue this robust investigation into a very difficult chapter in the history of the force. Today has demonstrated that it was also the right decision.
“That decision, to take on the investigation rather than allowing another force to lead, was part of our continued commitment to deal with a difficult legacy and the associated allegations of police wrongdoing.
“The IPCC has today endorsed that investigation as thorough and said it was carried it out with integrity and diligence.
“South Wales Police has been determined to find the truth about Lynette White’s murder and also to ensure an exhaustive inquiry was completed into police action in the first investigation of the case. This has given rise to a criminal trial and a substantial body of learning for this force and others.
“Since Lynette’s tragic murder, we have transformed the way we deal with historic cases and successfully reinvestigated a number of other undetected crimes. These include the conviction of Jeffrey Gafoor for Lynette White’s murder”.
The Police and Crime Commissioner for South Wales, Rt Hon Alun Michael, also welcomed the report and commented:
“I am very pleased that the Independent Police Complaints Commission has formally signed off this difficult and protracted investigation and has done so without reservation or qualification.
“It was no small decision for the Chief Constable at the time to launch this investigation, and for three successive Chief Constables to maintain their determination to follow the evidence where it led and to be robust in dealing with a difficult chapter in the history of the Force.
“Before my election as Commissioner, I was the Member of Parliament for the area where this murder took place and I have followed events with care from the start. I pay tribute to Peter Vaughan and his two predecessors for their robust leadership and I am pleased that the IPCC decision full recognises the quality of the investigation.”
South Wales Police recognised the scale and gravity of this case from the beginning and put in place an experienced senior investigating team. They were aided throughout the investigation by an Independent Advisory Group.
South Wales Police has remained committed to investigating all matters relating to this case which resulted in the conviction of Jeffrey Gafoor, who is serving a life sentence.
The success of our commitment to reviewing and reinvestigating cases has been demonstrated not only in the conviction of Jeffrey Gafoor but also in the cases of Sandra Newton, Geraldine Palk, Karen Skipper and Geraldine Hughes/Pauline Floyd.
At the same time as welcoming the endorsement of the IPCC, South Wales Police accepts and respects the final outcome of the criminal proceedings and the findings of other reports into how the investigation and prosecution of former officers was conducted.
Since the discontinuance of the trial, we have reviewed our disclosure processes including the way we work with the Crown Prosecution Service. This has allowed us to meet the challenges of complex investigations that have since followed.
Both the full report and South Wales Police’s letter submitting it to the IPCC have been published on our website. Read today’s IPCC news story. The Commissioner’s overview can be found .