Grenfell Tower no longer crime scene as police collect ‘everything we need’

Grenfell Tower no longer crime scene as police collect ‘everything we need’

Grenfell Tower in London is no longer a crime scene after police completed the forensic examination of the site.

Commander Stuart Cundy, who is leading the city's Metropolitan Police investigation into the tragedy, said “huge quantities of material of evidential value” had been gathered, adding: “Simply put, we have everything we need from the tower.”

Some 72 people died as a result of the fire on June 14 last year.

The force has briefed survivors and the bereaved and has also informed the local authority, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, of the move.

Grenfell Tower has been covered in plastic sheeting (PA)
Grenfell Tower has been covered in plastic sheeting (PA)

While the council still owns the plot, it has not had any involvement running the site since the tragedy, and it will not resume responsibility or have input into its future when the police move on.

Instead, as was always intended, the site will continue to be managed day-to-day by the independent site team under the command of Doug Patterson, chief executive of Bromley council.

Since the one-year anniversary, the tower’s charred shell has been covered from top to bottom with white sheeting and banners with the green Grenfell heart emblazoned around the top.

Eyes will now turn to what will become of the structure in the long term.

A banner with a green heart is wrapped around Grenfell Tower (PA)
A banner with a green heart is wrapped around Grenfell Tower (PA)

On Wednesday, members of the survivors’ group Grenfell United said they were “relieved” at the news that the British Government would be taking over the site from the autumn.

The move paves the way for the creation of a “fitting memorial” once the tower is demolished, the shape of which is being planned by survivors and the bereaved.

Announcing the completion of the forensic work on the tower, Commander Cundy said in a statement: “Police specialists and forensic experts have worked meticulously over the past year to ensure that the detailed examination of Grenfell Tower has been completed to the highest standards.

“This has been supported by a series of off-site tests and reconstructions.

“We have documented the results of a thorough forensic examination and recovered huge quantities of material of evidential value, working with experts to examine the building construction and maintenance systems.

“We have recorded every aspect of the tower, both inside and out, using laser scanning as well as extensive photography and videography which enables us to virtually recreate the Grenfell Tower as part of our ongoing investigation.

“We have carefully planned for this day and are satisfied that passing over control of the tower will have no bearing on the ongoing criminal investigation or any subsequent criminal proceedings.

“Simply put, we have everything we need from the tower.

“In the six months following the fire, one of our key priorities was to recover, identify and return all those who tragically died to their families.

“From the outset, we have also been relentless in our investigations at the tower.

“I recognise that releasing the tower as a crime scene is a significant milestone and we have updated bereaved families and survivors that whilst our work on the site is now complete, our large and complex police investigation continues.”

- Press Association

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