7/7 inquest findings published – 52 unlawful killings

Lady Justice Hallett, Assistant Deputy Coroner for Inner West London, is giving her findings in the combined inquests into the deaths resulting from the “7/7” London bombings on the 7 July 2005 which killed 52 and injured over 700.

Unsurprisingly, the coroner has found that the 52 people who died as a result of the bombings were unlawfully killed. She also found that they would have died “whatever time the emergency services reached and rescued them”. The coroner made 9 recommendations (using her power under Rule 43 of the Coroners Rules) for the future prevention of such events, which are reproduced in full below.

An inquest is a fact-finding exercise and not a method of apportioning guilt, as would be the case with a criminal trial. However, information unearthed by the inquest, which was wide-ranging in the evidence which it gathered, is likely to be used to inform anti-terrorism and disaster response policy in the future. For more information, see the excellent Inquest guide.

We have covered the hearings in the context of the coroner’s decision that there would be no closed (from the public) hearings at the inquest. This decision was later upheld by the high court. I also posted on the refusal to grant legal aid to a widow of one of the bombers.

Transcripts of the hearings can be found here.

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SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATIONS MADE BY THE CORONER

R1

I recommend that consideration be given to whether the procedures can be improved to ensure that “human sources” who are asked to view photographs are shown copies of the photographs of the best possible quality, consistent with operational sensitivities.

R2

I recommend that procedures be examined by the Security Service to establish if there is room for further improvement in the recording of decisions relating to the assessment of targets.

R3

I recommend that the London Resilience Team reviews the provision of inter-agency major incident training for frontline staff, particularly with reference to the London Underground system.

R4

I recommend that TfL and the London Resilience Team review the protocols by which TfL (i) is alerted to major incidents declared by the emergency services that affect the underground network, and (ii) informs the emergency services of an emergency on its own network (including the issuing of a ‘Code Amber’ or a ‘Code Red’, or the ordering of an evacuation).

Tfl

R5

I recommend that TfL and the London Resilience Team review the procedures by which (i) a common initial rendezvous point is established, and its location communicated to all the arriving emergency services (ii) the initial rendezvous point is permanently manned by an appropriate member of London Underground.

R6

I recommend that TfL and the London Resilience Team review the procedures by which confirmation is sought on behalf of any or all of the emergency services that the traction current is off, and by which that confirmation is

R7

I recommend that TfL (i) reconsider whether it is practicable to provide first aid equipment on underground trains, either in the driver’s cab or at some other suitable location, and (ii) carry out a further review of station stretchers to confirm whether they are suitable for use on both stations and trains

R8

I recommend that the LAS, together with the Barts and London NHS Trust (on behalf of the LAA) review existing training in relation to multi casualty triage (ie the process of triage sieve) in particular with respect to the role of basic medical intervention.

R9

I recommend that the Department of Health, the Mayor of London, the London Resilience Team and any other relevant bodies review the emergency medical care of the type provided by LAA and MERIT and, in particular (i) its capability and (ii) its funding.