Updated: Saturday, 25th January 2020 @ 8:25am

Greater Manchester Police investigated over disposal of Harold Shipman victims' body tissues

Greater Manchester Police investigated over disposal of Harold Shipman victims' body tissues

| By Kenny Lomas

Greater Manchester Police are being investigated for misleading the families of Harold Shipman’s victims.

The allegations relate to the disposal of human tissues of the victims, according The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

The IPCC announced on Twitter that it has launched three investigations into GMP following the allegations.

The commission also confirmed that the allegations were made by an officer currently serving in the force.

The officer who has made the allegations has accused a number of senior officers of cronyism, failure to follow correct procedures, failure to investigate complaints properly and corruption.

“We’ve started three investigations into @gmpolice after allegations made by whistleblower serving in the force,” the tweet read.

The three investigations will examine:

·         whether GMP officers misled families and the public when human tissue from victims of serial killer Harold Shipman was disposed of

·         the actions of a Detective Chief Inspector and whether these put public safety at risk as well as the officer’s alleged unauthorised bugging of a GMP office. The force has told the IPCC that this bugging did take place

·         claims that an investigation into alleged sexual abuse was poorly handled and the alleged failings covered-up by GMP

Following an IPCC assessment, all other allegations outside of the three investigations have been returned to GMP for the force to deal with.

Officers whose actions will be investigated range from the rank of constable up to GMP’s Assistant Chief Constable, Terry Sweeney.

ACC Sweeney worked on Operation Resolve, the police investigation into the Hillsborough disaster, but has now returned to GMP.

IPCC Commissioner Jan Williams said: "These are serious allegations and the gravity and nature of the allegations, and the fact that they are made against senior officers within the force, means they must be investigated independently.

“We will also look at the wider organisational response by Greater Manchester Police in each of these investigations.

"We know that the families involved will have been through very distressing times, and we will be sensitive to this as we conduct our investigations."

IPCC Commissioner Williams added that the commission have a statutory duty to conduct independent investigations in circumstances such as these, and will make sure they communicate with the families and do whatever they can to avoid further distress.

Speaking on behalf of GMP, Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy said: “We will be cooperating with the Independent Police Complaints Commission as we want to ensure the allegations raised are brought to a satisfactory conclusion. We hope this can be done swiftly.

“Assistant Chief Constable Terry Sweeney has voluntarily decided to stand down from his work with the Hillsborough Enquiry as part of Operation Resolve while the investigation takes place."

He added that this was a personal decision from ACC Sweeney.

He added: “I support the need for difficult issues we face to be subjected to scrutiny and for there to be a transparent process for this."

Image courtesy of BBC, via YouTube, with thanks.