Met Announces Council 'May Have Committed Corporate Manslaughter' With Regards To Grenfell Tower

The fire that saw at least 80 people die may have been criminally caused

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It has been over month since the 14th July fire in Grenfell Tower. Although 80 people have been confirmed dead, the unofficial death tolls put the figure as high as 150.

We won't know about the true number of lost lives, until the figures are announced, likely towards the end of the year.

But public, as well as local, outcry is calling for some kind of accountability.

The cladding that was chosen to insulate the building has been widely touted as the reason the flames spread so quickly up a building that should be able to maintain a controlled blaze.

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According to the BBC, 'both the cladding and insulation on the outside of the building failed all preliminary tests,' and it appears the cladding used in the refurbishment was chosen, despite its low fire resistance, to save money.

Broken firedoors, as well as a lack of sprinklers, have also been blamed.

The Metropolitan Police began an enquiry almost immediately, and said it would consider manslaughter, health and safety and fire safety charges to the owners of the block.

Now, the Scotland Yard investigation has announced that they have 'reasonable grounds' to suspect both council and organisation that managed Grenfell Tower block, for corporate manslaughter.

The Guardian reports that the two organisations under suspicion are Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation.

Only 31 people have been formally identified and the Police are struggling to identify the remains of the rest of the victims.

The Police wrote a letter to the survivors and families of the victims who died explaining their progress:

After an initial assessment of that information, the officer leading the investigation has today notified Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation that there are reasonable grounds to suspect that each organisation may have committed the offence of corporate manslaughter, under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007.

Although this may be met with relief by some of the survivors, some may want further action to be take.

If found guilty, Corporate Manslaughter only requires a fine, not prison time.

Labour MP David Lammy said more action was needed by police, who should consider a charge that carries jail time. Lammy, who lost a family friend in the disaster, told the Guardian:

'I am pleased that justice for Grenfell victims and families is being taken seriously by the Metropolitan police and the CPS. But the punishment for corporate manslaughter is a fine.

'A fine would not represent justice for the Grenfell victims and their families. Gross negligence involuntary manslaughter carries a punishment of prison time and I hope that the police and the CPS are considering involuntary manslaughter caused by gross negligence.'

Yvette Williams of Justice4Grenfell welcomed the news with trepadation,

'At least [the council and the TMO] have been warned about what's coming their way. But we would like to see individuals prosecuted as well. People implement policy and take decisions, so we want to see those people brought to account.'

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