Met Police apologises to Caroline Flack's mother over way star's assault charge was handled
Caroline Flack's mother has reportedly received an apology from the Met Police over how it handled her daughter's assault charge before her death.
The apology comes after an investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct into Flack's mother's concerns over the probe.
Caroline Flack, 40, took her own life in her flat in London in February 2020 after she was charged with assaulting her boyfriend.
An inquest found she had committed suicide after her mental health suffered due to the impending case and media attention.
It has since emerged that the Crown Prosecution Service had recommended she should be given a caution, but Flack was charged by the Met Police with assault.
Flack's mother Christine launched a formal complaint against the force, prompting an investigation into the decision to press charges.
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The force initially found that there had been no wrongdoing, but the presenter's mother escalated her concerns to the Independent Office for Police Conduct.
Its findings have now prompted the Met to write to apologise to Christine Flack for the fact that full records hadn't been kept on why the decision had been made to charge her, explaining that it had improved record keeping as a consequence.
But Flack, from Norwich, Norfolk, told the Eastern Daily Press that the force should be apologising for the way her daughter was treated.
She said: "They have apologised for how they handled my complaint – but what they really should be apologising for is the way Carrie was treated.
"The fact new guidelines have been brought in means something was wrong. I believe if I had not said anything, nothing would have changed either."
In a statement, the Met said complaints had been made relating to the "quality and proportionality" of the police investigation that led to Flack being charged with assault, prompting an investigation by its professional standards team.
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That probe did not identify any misconduct, prompting a request by the complainant for a review of the findings by the Independent Office for Police Conduct.
"Following a review, the IOPC agreed with the Met that the service was acceptable in relation to seven areas of the complaints relating to the response and handling of the incident by the Met," it said.
"The IOPC directed the Met to reinvestigate one element of the complaints, and a further complaint made by the close relative of Ms Flack.
"Both relate to the process involved in appealing the Crown Prosecution Service decision to caution Ms Flack."
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It said that investigation, which concluded in May 2022, found that service provided was acceptable, but the Met had identified "some learning around using IT systems to record appeal decisions and the use of decision models for cautions", which were being implemented.
It said that in June 2022 a review had been carried out by the IOPC following an appeal over the outcome of the investigation.
The statement added: "The review did not identify any misconduct but concluded that an officer should receive reflective practice.
"This was about the requirement to review all case material and record a balanced rationale, demonstrating objective decision making by exploring aggravating and mitigating factors, when appealing a CPS decision.
"The IOPC also asked the Met to apologise to Ms Flack’s family about there not being a record of the rationale to appeal the CPS decision. We have done so and acknowledged the impact that this has had on them.
"We wait to hear whether the IOPC will make any recommendations for organisational learning.
"Our thoughts and sympathies remain with Ms Flack’s family for their loss."