An inquiry examining allegations of electoral fraud in Tower Hamlets is back at full strength after five detectives were redeployed elsewhere following a series of homicides in London and warnings that a lack of detectives could slow its progress.
In 2014, the High Court found former Tower Hamlets Mayor Lutfur Rahman was guilty of corruption after it received an election petition from several residents.
No criminal convictions were ever brought against him or his associates because the police found insufficient evidence that any offences had been committed.
But under pressure from the London Assembly, a new investigation was launched in March this year after they were accused of “major failings” during the initial inquiry.
Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) was asked to inspect the force’s progress by the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime.
The first assessment, held in May, has found “good foundations” have already been laid as governance groups are focused on engaging with the Tower Hamlets community.
The force has also established a major incident room and staff are reviewing “vast quantities” of material.
HMIC was also concerned to find that a disclosure officer has not yet been appointed and the function is being performed by a detective sergeant.
HMIC said: “As Operation Lynemouth continues, its progress will be dependent on the resources that it attracts and is able to retain.
“The longer the operation goes on, the harder it will become to maintain the goodwill of interested parties.
“Furthermore, practical difficulties such as tracing witnesses or securing their attendance at court will become more likely.”
Source: Police Professional