A group of Metropolitan police officers who were sacked over their conduct in the Plebgate affair were involved in a collusion that made it difficult to uncover the truth about the incident in Downing Street, the former attorney general Dominic Grieve has said.
As the Met released a lengthy report into Operation Alice, its investigation into the incident in Downing Street on 19 September 2012, Grieve warned that the conduct of some of the officers had challenged the workings of the justice system. He told the Guardian: “I think the report is a very worrying document, because it reveals collusion between police officers in a way that makes the truth impossible to ascertain, when police officers should be witnesses of the truth at all times. When one sees officers behaving in this fashion, in whatever circumstances, it leaves one with a sense that if you can’t trust them to tell the truth, then the justice system generally, and law enforcement in particular, becomes very difficult. It is a pretty depressing read.”
Grieve spoke out after Deputy Assistant Commissioner Patricia Gallan, who was in charge of Operation Alice, said that allegations that officers had conspired to falsify statements had “damaged public trust and confidence in us”. Gallan confirmed that four officers, including one who has been sent to prison, had lost their jobs as a result of their conduct after the incident.