I have spent most of today in Tottenham, meeting with members of the community, and I have just come from a meeting with members of Mark Duggan’s family.
The investigation in to the circumstances of Mark Duggan’s death must remain my priority. It is important however that I address some of the misinformation circling around – much of which is unhelpful, and some of which is inflammatory.
Mark Duggan’s family and the community in Tottenham need answers about what happened to him – and we will investigate independently, thoroughly and robustly so that we can give them answers. IPCC investigators were sent to the scene immediately. A number of exhibits including a non police firearm found at the scene and MPS radio have been sent for forensic testing. Yesterday we supported 14 members of Mark Duggan’s family and friends whilst they went through the difficult task of viewing and formally identifying Mr Duggan’s body.
The investigation is, and will remain my priority. As an IPCC Commissioner I cannot ever have worked for the police and am entirely independent of them. My role is to oversee the investigation – which must also support the family, and address the concerns expressed by the community. To help me I have established a community reference group to ensure I am sensitive and responsive to them.
I know there are concerns that we have not provided enough support to the family in the first days – and I am very sorry if anyone should feel that. Our investigators in fact made contact with the family on Friday, met them yesterday and I have met them today. I have spoken to Mark’s mother today who told me she did not want to meet yet but would do so in the coming days.
We are interviewing key witnesses although whilst the investigation is at such a critical stage I cannot give out further bits of information until we have proven what is fact and what is rumour. There are however a number of things I would like to address.
Speculation that Mark Duggan was ‘assassinated’ in an execution style involving a number of shots to the head are categorically untrue. Following the formal identification of the body Mr Duggan’s family know that this is not the case and I would ask anyone reporting this to be aware of its inaccuracy and its inflammatory nature.
The IPCC is investigating not only the actions of the officer firing the shots but also the planning, decision making and implementation of the police operation. Our lines of enquiry include the bullets fired and any firearms used and recovered.
I remain in touch with Mr Duggan’s family and with community leaders with whom I met today and I join them in appealing for calm. The violence and disorder we have witnessed over the last 24 hours can never be acceptable.
Once again I would urge anyone who witnessed the incident to contact us in confidence on 0800 096 9079 or e mail email@example.com
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