Statement from the Commissioner concerning the Downing Street incident and subsequent events

23 December 2012

Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe

Statement from the Commissioner, Bernard Hogan-Howe concerning the Downing Street incident and subsequent events.

The allegations in relation to this case are extremely serious. For the avoidance of doubt, I am determined there will be a ruthless search for the truth - no matter where the truth takes us.

"The investigating team are in the best place to gather and assess all the evidence..."

This is shown not only by words but by action taken immediately following the receipt of new material earlier this month. This includes:

My appointment of Deputy Assistant Commissioner Patricia Gallan, head of Professional Standards, to oversee the investigation.

The allocating of 30 police officers to the task to ensure the investigation is not only thorough but also swift.

Within 48 hours of receiving new information, the arrest of an officer from the MPS on suspicion of Misconduct in a Public Office, and a few days later a 23-year-old man on suspicion of assisting in that endeavour.

The broad terms of reference allowing the investigation to develop where the evidence takes it.

There was an immediate referral to the Independent Police Complaints Commission and we are committed to keeping them updated as the investigation develops.

I believe these actions are vital in maintaining public confidence in the police and DAC Gallan and her team have my full confidence to carry out a robust investigation.

During the last 24 hours I have taken the opportunity to satisfy myself about the welfare of the officers involved. Media interest is to be expected, but for officers to be pursued and identified by the media during an ongoing investigation does, of course, create significant pressure.

I recognise that there is a great deal of public interest in these events. It is the investigating team who are in the best place to gather and assess all the evidence and it is vital that they are given the time and space to do this.