Grenfell Tower survivors are demanding police accelerate their criminal investigation into the disaster so prosecutors can bring charges immediately, arguing enough evidence has emerged to deliver justice for their 72 loved ones.
Martedì, exactly four and a half years since the fatal fire, they launched a “#chargesnow” campaign with billboards across the country, a protest outside Kensington and Chelsea town hall and a statement on behalf of dozens of families that reads: “We’ve been patient, we’ve stayed dignified but we’ve waited too long. Today we say enough is enough. We demand charges”
The push represents a change in gear for the Grenfell United families group but will be resisted by Scotland Yard, which insists it must wait for the findings of the public inquiry that is not expected until at least late next year at the earliest.
A spokesperson for Scotland Yard said: “The police and the Crown Prosecution Service agree that the criminal investigation must take into account any findings or reports produced by the inquiry, including its final reports for both phase 1 and phase 2 … We have always explained to families and survivors this is a large and complex criminal investigation and the anticipated timeline for the police.”
In ottobre 2020, police investigating the disaster arrested an unnamed 38-year-old man in Sussex on suspicion of perverting the course of justice. He remains released under investigation. Detectives have also interviewed several people under caution relating to gross negligence manslaughter, corporate manslaughter and health and safety offences.
A Grenfell United spokesperson said: “For four and a half years we’ve suffered knowing Grenfell was no accident, but now we have the evidence. Our justice was delayed to ensure that lessons were learned and people are safe in their homes – the evidence has been laid bare. Millions of documents have been uncovered.”
The inquiry has already heard that in 2013 executives at Celotex, which made most of the insulation on the tower, had known that “in the event of a fire [its insulation] would burn".
Nel 2007, tests by Kingspan on a new formula of foam boards that were later used at Grenfell caused “a raging inferno". The company kept using test results from an earlier version to market the product. e in 2009, an Arconic executive shared images of a burning tower fitted with similar panels to those it sold to Grenfell “to show you how dangerous PE [polyethylene] can be when it comes to architecture".
Ed Daffarn, who escaped from the 16th floor on 14 giugno 2017, disse: “If the experience of Hillsborough is to mean anything, the Grenfell community should not be made to wait 28 years for justice.”