Caroline Flack: Met Police apologises to family of former Love Island presenter over lack of records on charging decision | Ents & Arts News
Caroline Flack’s family members have received an apology from the Met Police over the force’s failure to keep a record about a decision to charge her with assault rather than giving her a caution.
The former Love Island presenter was facing prosecution for allegedly assaulting her boyfriend when she took her own life in February 2020.
Her mother, Christine Flack, has said she believes her daughter was treated differently by the police because she was famous.
Following the incident involving Flack and her boyfriend Lewis Burton in December 2019, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) recommended that the star should receive a caution. However, the Met Police appealed this, and she was instead charged with assault by beating.
At the inquest into her death, a coroner ruled that the 40-year-old star took her own life after learning prosecutors were pressing ahead with the charge.
A spokesperson for the Met Police said the force was ordered to apologise to Flack’s family following a review by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), which found there was not a “record of rationale” to appeal against the CPS decision.
“We have done so and acknowledged the impact that this has had on them,” the Met spokesperson said. “Our thoughts and sympathies remain with Ms Flack’s family for their loss.”
After an initial investigation by the force’s Directorate of Professional Standards (DPS) found there was no misconduct, Flack’s family escalated their concerns to the IOPC – and the Met was ordered to reinvestigate complaints relating to the process involved in appealing against the CPS decision.
This investigation concluded in May 2022, with the DPS finding again that the service provided was acceptable – although the force did identify “some learning around using IT systems to record appeal decisions and the use of decision models for cautions, which are being implemented”.
In June 2022, the IOPC received another application to review the force’s reinvestigation.
An IOPC spokesperson said that following “a thorough assessment of this case” the review had been partially upheld. While it did not identify any misconduct, it concluded that one officer should receive “reflective practice”.
“We determined there were individual and organisational failings by the MPS (Metropolitan Police Service), therefore the service provided did not reach the standard a reasonable person could expect in relation to some aspects of the reinvestigation,” the spokesperson said.
“This is because the officer involved did not record their rationale for appealing the original CPS decision to take no further action and the force, at that time, had no system in place to record rationales in these circumstances.
“We have concluded the officer involved should be subject to the reflective practice review process. We have also asked the MPS to apologise to the complainant in relation to the rationale recording, and the absence of a system to record such rationales.”
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