Westminster Bridge - Prevention of Future Deaths Report

21 December 2018

Following the inquest into the death of PC Palmer and the victims of the Westminster Bridge attack, the Chief Coroner has yesterday published a 20 page Report on Action to Prevent Future Deaths containing 11 recommendations to the Metropolitan Police Service which arise out of his concerns that future deaths may occur unless changes are made.

At the conclusion of the inquest in October 2018, the Chief Coroner found that PC Palmer’s life could have been saved if armed officers had been stationed at the Carriage Gates entrance to Parliament Square as they should have been. The Metropolitan Police must now consider the Chief Coroner’s recommendations, which cover the deployment, supervision and training of armed officers at Parliament as well as the process of reviewing security at Parliament, and respond to the Chief Coroner with details of action taken.

Adam Chapman and Sarah Burton of Kingsley Napley and Susannah Stevens and Thomas Coke-Smyth of QEB Hollis Whiteman acted for the sisters and parents of PC Palmer during the inquest. Sarah Burton commented:

We welcome the report of the Chief Coroner which shows that our clients, Angela and Michelle, were right to push for these issues to be uncovered at the inquest into the death of their brother, PC Palmer. Our clients were determined to leave no stone unturned not only so that they could understand the circumstances of their brother’s death but also so that they could assure themselves that no other family would lose a loved one in similar circumstances. The Chief Coroner’s Report goes some way to providing this comfort to our clients. In particular, having listened carefully to all the evidence in the inquest, our clients made detailed and carefully considered submissions to the Coroner on what changes the Metropolitan Police needed to make and they are relieved to see that many of their suggestions have been adopted in his Report”.

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