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News Archives: Index

October 7, 2010: Probation Set For Industrial Action

October 5, 2010: Turning Prisoners Into Taxpayers

October 4, 2010: Murder Changes Now In Force

September 20, 2010: Probation Programmes Face Cuts

August 24, 2010: Victorian Poor Law Records Online

August 10, 2010: Justice Job Cuts

July 28, 2010: Prison Violence Growing

July 22, 2010: Police Numbers: Latest Figures

July 22, 2010: New Jurisdiction Rules

July 16, 2010: CCJS On Prison And Probation Spending Under Labour

July 15, 2010: Latest Statistics On Violent And Sexual Crime

July 15, 2010: Latest National Crime Figures

July 15, 2010: New Chief Prisons Inspector

July 14, 2010: Hard Times Ahead For Prisons: Anne Owers

July 14, 2010: Prison Does Not Work: Ken Clarke

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform: Sentencing and Rehabilitation

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform Priorities

July 12, 2010: What Price Public Protection, Asks Probation Chief Inspector

July 12, 2010: NOMS has failed, says Napo

July 10, 2010: IPCC To Investigate Death of Raoul Moat

July 9, 2010: Women In Prison: New Report

July 9, 2009: Unjust Deserts: Imprisonment for Public Protection

July 8, 2010: Police Search Powers Change

July 7, 2010: Make 'Legal High' Illegal, Says ACMD

July 2, 2010: Failing Children In Prison

July 2, 2010: Police Buried Under a Blizzard of Guidance: HMIC

July 1, 2010: Freedom To Change The Law?

June 30, 2010: A New Outlook On Penal Reform?

June 30, 2010: Revolving Door Of Offending Must Stop, Says Clarke

June 30, 2010: Ken Clarke: Speech on Criminal Justice Reform

June 29, 2010: No More Police Targets

June 26, 2010: Family Intervention Projects Questioned

June 25, 2010: Cutting Criminal Justice

June 24, 2010: Napo on Sex Offenders Report

June 23, 2010: Closing Courts: The Cuts Begin

June 23, 2010: Strategy To Tackle Gangs

June 15, 2010: Courts and Mentally Disordered Offenders

June 8, 2010: Working With Muslims in Prison

June 1, 2010: Your Chance To Nominate a QC

June 4, 2009: IPCC On Sonnex's Recall

The Independent Police Complaints Commission is publishing its findings into the Metropolitan Police's handling of the prison recall of Dano Sonnex.

On 13 June 2008 the Ministry of Justice informed Lewisham Borough Police of a recall to prison notice for Dano Sonnex. The Police took 16 days to respond to the notice – not visiting his last known address until 29 June 2008, the same day he murdered Laurent Bonomo and Gabriel Ferez. MPS officers did not arrest Sonnex until 10 July 2008.

The independent investigation focused on the proportionality and timeliness of the police response after the recall notification was received on 13 June and looked into whether any offence had been committed by any police officers or members of police staff and what should be changed to ensure a more effective response in future.

It found that the recall to prison notice was not dealt with as a matter of urgency and that confusion, misinterpretation and poor communication between an Inspector, Sergeant and Constable resulted in a serious delay in the execution of an arrest warrant.

Police were not informed until 13 June 2008 that Sonnex was subject of a recall to prison. This was some seven weeks after his initial arrest and four weeks after his release on unconditional bail and the recall was not dealt with as a matter of urgency. It was a “standard” rather than an “emergency” recall. However, MPS Borough Policy was that the target time to return him to prison was 96 hours and this was plainly breached.

The recall was complicated by some intelligence suggesting that Sonnex may be in possession of firearms. However, if the Sergeant in this case had communicated better and effectively assessed the risk, this delay could have been avoided.

The investigation found the Sergeant did not perform his duties adequately. This was a breach of the Police Code of Conduct and he has received a disciplinary warning.

In response to a recommendation by the IPCC, the MPS has informed the IPCC that a requirement for a continuous risk assessment to take place has been included in the end-to-end process that has now been agreed by all the agencies involved for dealing with a licence recall in London.

The IPCC investigation also looked into the actions of police prior to June 2008 and examined the way Sonnex was monitored following his release from prison on 8 February 2008 and the investigation of a serious assault two days later, for which Sonnex was a suspect.

It found that the system of recording Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) details was inadequate which meant that Sonnex would have come to the notice of borough police officers, who were unaware of the need to contact the MAPPA team and the Probation Service. The IPCC is satisfied that action has been taken by the MPS to rectify this situation in light of this case.

It also found that the victims of the assault on 10 February 2008 feared repercussions and, despite several visits, declined to support the police investigation. The assault was investigated by a Detective Constable who suspected Sonnex and despite the lack of systemic recording, did inform the Probation Service of his concerns.

At an early stage in the IPCC investigation, it became clear that the role of other agencies needed to be examined. As the IPCC only has jurisdiction over police, perceived failings by other agencies identified during the course of the IPCC investigation were referred to the relevant bodies, including the National Offender Management Service and the London Criminal Justice Board who have reported their findings separately.