Two bungling police officers who failed to find Tia Sharp's body while they searched her grandmother's New Addington home will not face the sack, a Met source has revealed.
The constable and "supervising" sergeant – part of a team of officers who scoured the loft because sniffer dogs were not trained to – have escaped with a "minor" telling off, despite the blunders making it harder for experts to establish the 12-year-old's cause of death.Splendid! No doubt Inspector Gadget will find time to crow about this, as he watches the reputation of the police sink even lower in the eyes of the public…
A police source told the Advertiser: "It is the most minor form of discipline. This is at the bottom of the scale.
"It's like when you go to court, you can get life imprisonment or you can get an absolute discharge. It is a telling off but it's a minor one. Nobody's job is at threat."
The source added: "It strikes me as odd, that when a policeman makes a mistake people want to sack him, but when a news reader gets their lines wrong nobody complains."Yes, well, when Kay Burley or the like makes some huge error it’s amusing or infuriating, but hardly ever does it result in a failure to find a dead body or have the potential to jeopardise a trial!
Despite widespread public anger over the bungles, New Addington councillor Tony Pearson said tougher disciplinary action against the officers is not necessary.
He said: "It will never change the investigation. It was difficult for everyone concerned and the key for the family is to make sure there is justice for Tia, not to have a witch hunt on individuals."It’s not a ‘witch hunt’ – it’s ensuring that those who fail to do the job for which our taxes are taken from us are properly dealt with.
But changes have since been made to the force's official search guidelines since her body was found in The Lindens roof space, wrapped in a sheet and plastic bag, on August 10.A great big 42-point font warning saying:
HAVE YOU CHECKED THE LOFT???