London Bridge attack: Watchdog launches investigation into Staffordshire Police

12 December 2019, 20:28

The IOPC will investigate Staffordshire Police over their handling of Usman Khan
The IOPC will investigate Staffordshire Police over their handling of Usman Khan. Picture: PA

The independent police watchdog has launched an investigation into Staffordshire Police and its handling of London Bridge terrorist Usman Khan.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct said on Thursday that they are probing the force's "management of Usman Khan following his release from prison."

Attacker Khan had previously been convicted of terror offences and was reportedly wearing an electronic tag when he fatally stabbed two people, before being shot dead by officers.

It later emerged that Khan was released from prison on licence in December 2018, halfway through a 16-year prison sentence, after he was convicted of terror offences in February 2012.

During the knife attack on November 29, he killed Jack Merritt, 25, and 23-year-old Saskia Jones.

Jack Merritt, 25, of Cottenham, Cambridgeshire and (right) Saskia Jones, 23, of Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire
Jack Merritt, 25, of Cottenham, Cambridgeshire and (right) Saskia Jones, 23, of Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire. Picture: PA

The IOPC also said they are investigating Staffordshire Police's "contact with Usman Khan prior to his death."

They said their investigation with the Metropolitan Police and City of London Police into the shooting of Khan on the bridge is "making good progress."

In a statement, IOPC Director of London Sal Naseem said: "Our thoughts and sympathies remain with all of those affected by the events of Friday 29 November.

"This was a fast-moving and dangerous situation to which the police had to respond extremely quickly and I pay tribute to the bravery of all those who responded.

Usman Khan was shot by police after the attack on London Bridge
Usman Khan was shot by police after the attack on London Bridge. Picture: PA

"We are liaising with the Coroner and working hard to ensure our investigation into the fatal shooting is completed as quickly as possible.

"We will be updating Mr Khan's family and the forces involved as we progress. At the request of the Coroner, we are limited in the information we can release at this time.

"Our separate investigation into the decisions and actions of Staffordshire Police has just begun and will be conducted alongside the investigation into the shooting."

Khan was wearing a fake suicide vest when he was killed on the central London crossing in full view of horrified onlookers.

The attack started at nearby Fishmonger's Hall, an events space on the north side of the bridge, where Khan had been attending an event called "Learning Together."

It has prompted the Ministry of Justice to review the licence conditions of every convicted terrorist released from prison.

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