Published On: Thu, Jul 27th, 2017

Grenfell Tower tragedy: 'Reasonable grounds' for corporate manslaughter charges say police

Police investigating the Kensington tower block blaze have concluded there are “reasonable grounds” to suspect the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) and the council’s Tenant Management Organisation (TMO) may have committed corporate manslaughter.

At least 80 people were killed when fire and smoke ripped through the block without a single fire alarm or sprinkler being set off.

However, it is believed the death toll could rise during investigations which will take months to complete.

The statement sent to families today states: “We have seized a huge amount of material and taken a large number of witness statements. 

“After an initial assessment of that information, the officer leading the investigation has today notified Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation that there are reasonable grounds to suspect that each organisation may have committed the offence of corporate manslaughter under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007.” 

A Met police spokesman said: “The Met started an investigation into the cause and spread of the fire at Grenfell Tower on 14 June. Since then we have stated that it is a criminal investigation, considering the full range of offences from corporate manslaughter to regulatory breaches.

“This is a complex and far reaching investigation that by its very nature will take a considerable time to complete.

“The Met has made a commitment to the families who lost loved ones in the fire and survivors that they will be kept updated, as far as we possibly can, as the investigation continues. 

“As is routine, we will not give a running commentary on this investigation.”

The police will soon interview “senior representatives” from each organisation.

No names have yet been given.

Chief Executive of Royal Borough of Chelsea and Kensington council Nicholas Holgate stepped down after the tragedy.

A week later, TMO leader Robert Black stepped aside.

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