Po­lice chief who quit after crash deaths gets Met job

Sir Stephen House left Po­lice Scot­land fol­low­ing the death of a cou­ple who lay undis­cov­ered in a car wreck for days

The Courier & Advertiser (Angus and The Mearns Edition) - - NEWS - Mar­garet davis

A for­mer po­lice chief who re­signed after a woman was left crit­i­cally in­jured in a car wreck for three days is be­ing brought to Scot­land Yard to tackle dis­clo­sure of ev­i­dence.

Sir Stephen House left Po­lice Scot­land in 2015 fol­low­ing out­rage over the deaths of La­mara Bell, 25, and part­ner John Yuill, 28, who lay undis­cov­ered in the ve­hi­cle near Stir­ling de­spite a call from a mem­ber of the pub­lic.

Ms Bell was still alive when of­fi­cers fi­nally found her, but later died.

The force boss had faced crit­i­cism over his de­ci­sion to put armed of­fi­cers on rou­tine pa­trols and large-scale use of con­sen­sual stop-and-search, but the cou­ple’s deaths brought dis­sat­is­fac­tion to a head.

Yes­ter­day Met­ro­pol­i­tan Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Cres­sida Dick an­nounced that Sir Stephen would start work in Lon­don on March 5.

A state­ment from Scot­land Yard said: “One of his key ini­tial tasks will be to co­or­di­nate the Met’s re­sponse to the chal­lenges raised re­cently in re­spect of dis­clo­sure pol­icy and prac­tice.”

Thou­sands of rape pros­e­cu­tions are be­ing re­viewed by forces across the coun­try, in­clud­ing around 600 by the Met, in the wake of claims that of­fi­cers may not have given all rel­e­vant ev­i­dence to de­fence teams.

This fol­lows the case of stu­dent Liam Al­lan, 22, whose trial col­lapsed when it emerged that mes­sages which cast doubt on the claims against him had not been pro­vided to his lawyers.

In the past week Chief Con­sta­bles Sara Thornton and Nick Eph­grave have both said of­fi­cers may have to make greater use of ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence to sift through mas­sive amounts of data that form part of in­ves­ti­ga­tions, to aid the dis­clo­sure process.

Mr Eph­grave said: “Longer term, we must pur­sue how tech­nol­ogy, par­tic­u­larly ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence, can help us deal with the ex­panse of dig­i­tal ma­te­rial more quickly and ef­fi­ciently.”

Sir Stephen is tak­ing the job at a time when the cap­i­tal’s po­lice force has the low­est of­fi­cer num­bers for decades and crime fig­ures are ris­ing.

Ms Dick said: “There is a huge amount of trans­for­ma­tion tak­ing place within the Met and at the same time we are deal­ing with ris­ing de­mand and big op­er­a­tional chal­lenges.

“Steve has a strong track record in tack­ling vi­o­lent crime – par­tic­u­larly do­mes­tic violence, knife and gang crime – both within the Met and then with huge suc­cess in Scot­land.”

“One of his key ini­tial tasks will be to co­or­di­nate the Met’s re­sponse to the chal­lenges raised re­cently in re­spect of dis­clo­sure pol­icy and prac­tice

Pic­ture: PA.

Sir Stephen House will be­gin his new job on March 5.

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