• Following the completion of the review into the circumstances surrounding the death of Jean Charles de Menezes, Stephen O'Doherty, senior lawyer from the CPS Special Crime Division today announced his decision.

"I wish first to take this opportunity to express my condolences to the family and friends of Jean Charles de Menezes, and my gratitude to them for the patience and understanding they have shown whilst I have considered the evidence in this tragic case.

"I have now completed my review into the circumstances surrounding the death of Jean Charles de Menezes.

"Following the investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission, their report and supporting evidence was sent to me. I asked them to carry out some additional enquiries which they have done and I am now satisfied that I have sufficient evidence to reach a decision in this matter. The offences I considered included murder, manslaughter, forgery, and breaches of health and safety legislation.

"All cases are considered in accordance with the principles in the Code for Crown Prosecutors which states that before a prosecution can commence, there must be a realistic prospect of conviction. If there is not sufficient evidence then a case cannot proceed no matter how important or serious it may be.

"After the most careful consideration I have concluded that there is insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction against any individual police officer.

"But I am satisfied that there is sufficient evidence to prosecute the Office of Commissioner of Police for an offence under sections 3 and 33 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 of failing to provide for the health, safety and welfare of Jean Charles de Menezes on 22nd July 2005.

"The two officers who fired the fatal shots did so because they thought that Mr de Menezes had been identified to them as a suicide bomber and that if they did not shoot him, he would blow up the train, killing many people.

"In order to prosecute those officers, we would have to prove, beyond reasonable doubt, that they did not honestly and genuinely hold those beliefs. In fact, the evidence supports their claim that they genuinely believed that Mr de Menezes was a suicide bomber and therefore, as we cannot disprove that claim, we cannot prosecute them for murder or any other related offence.

"Mr de Menezes was not a suicide bomber. I therefore considered the actions of all those involved in the operation to see how it was that an innocent man came to be mistaken for a suicide bomber. I concluded that while a number of individuals had made errors in planning and communication, and the cumulative result was the tragic death of Mr de Menezes, no individual had been culpable to the degree necessary for a criminal offence.

"A log book of events was submitted for forensic examination to see if it had been altered and, if so, by whom. Two experts examined the relevant passage but they could not agree to the required standard whether there had been an alteration or, if there had been one, who may have done it. This meant there could be no prosecution of any individual in relation to the log book.

"However I have concluded that the operational errors indicate that there had been a breach of the duties owed to non employees under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, by the Office of Commissioner of Police and I have authorised a prosecution under that Act.

"I must stress that this is not a prosecution of Sir Ian Blair in his personal capacity, but will be a prosecution of the Office of Commissioner, as the deemed employer of the Metropolitan Police officers involved in the death of Mr de Menezes.

"I have today provided a detailed explanation to those representing the de Menezes family and I have offered to meet with them to answer their questions."

  • Statement from the Independent Police Complaints Commission: "The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has today said that it will commence proceedings against the office of the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis for an offence under sections 3 and 33 of the Health and Safety at Work, etc. Act 1974 of failing to provide for the health, safety and welfare of Jean Charles de Menezes on 22 July 2005.

"The CPS has also informed the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) that there is insufficient evidence to bring prosecutions against any individual officer.

"The IPCC is now in the process of obtaining and serving a summons on the office of the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis.

"Senior IPCC Investigator, John Cummins, led the investigation into the circumstances surrounding Mr de Menezes' death and submitted a file of evidence to the CPS on 19 January. That file and the accompanying report addressed the individual actions of fifteen officers, whether any of these fifteen officers may have committed a criminal offence, and the question of whether there had been a breach of section 3 of the 1974 Act.

"Questions of whether disciplinary action should be taken against any officer will be considered in due course and in accordance with the provisions of the Police Reform Act 2002.

"HM Coroner, John Sampson, will now be likely to consider the future conduct of the inquest into Mr de Menezes' death. The next inquest hearing is currently scheduled for 7 September 2006 at Southwark Coroner's Court, London.

"The IPCC will publish the report of its investigation as soon as legal considerations allow."

  • Statement from Metropolitan Police Authority chairman Len Dunvall: "Our thoughts of course are with the family of Jean Charles de Menezes at this time and also with the victims of the terrorist atrocities.

"It is understandable that this decision will be difficult for the family to accept as they have lost their dearly loved son.

"Jean Charles de Menezes was another victim of the terrorist atrocities of last year - the events of the 22 July 2005 cannot be disconnected from 7 July and 21 July 2005. We must remember the unique context of the events in London last year.

"The Met was faced with a series of 'firsts' that required tough decisions, with public safety as the paramount consideration. When carrying out their duties the police must always seek to put the public first, but on this occasion a tragic mistake did occur.

"The Metropolitan Police Authority notes that the Crown Prosecution Service has decided to prosecute the Office of Commissioner for breaches of health and safety legislation, under Section 3 and 33 of the Health and Safety at Work Act. This decision has been reached by the CPS following the IPCC investigation into the shooting at Stockwell on 22 July 2005.

"We are surprised at their decision, and the application of the Health and Safety at Work Act in connection with operational policing raises very difficult questions. This decision will mean that the Metropolitan Police Service will have to answer in court for the way it dealt with the events of 22 July 2005 with the result that more information about this operation will be brought into the public domain, which the MPA welcomes.

"It is not possible to discuss any issues relating to disciplinary considerations until all legal processes are complete.

"Last summer, London had experienced the first suicide bombers on British soil. As a consequence the Met were working at absolute capacity in order to prevent further atrocities and track down the terrorists, as well as maintaining business as usual for all London citizens. In order to protect the public the Met took the difficult decision to put Operation Kratos, a shoot to stop policy, into action.

"Records show that in the two weeks after 21/7 the Met received 763 calls from members of the public about suspected suicide bombers. It is important to note that out of the 763 calls only 6 resulted in an armed response unit being sent to the location, with no firearms being discharged.

"It is clear that since 7/7 and 21/7 we have to find new ways of fighting terrorism - we must work together with London's communities to build trust and a sense of ownership of the problems and solutions in order to reduce the likelihood of future attacks and enable all Londoners to feel confident going about their daily lives. The MPS and MPA are fully committed to this approach and will always work to ensure the safety of all London's communities comes first."

  • Statement from the Metropolitan Police Service: "The shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes is a matter of very deep regret to the Metropolitan Police Service. As we approach the first anniversary our continued thoughts are with his family. We have apologised publicly and in private to them and we would again like to take this opportunity to say sorry for this tragedy.

"We acknowledge and support today's decision by the Crown Prosecution Service not to charge any officer with criminal offences for their part in the events of 22 July.

"While we still need to consider carefully any disciplinary matters we are pleased for the officers and their families who have faced much uncertainty over the last year. The actions of Commander Cressida Dick and the other officers have been the subject of much scrutiny and public debate and they deserve our continued support at this time.

"However, we are concerned and clearly disappointed at today's decision to prosecute the Metropolitan Police Service for breaches of health and safety. Despite the uncertainty this prosecution will create we will not shrink from our key role of protecting public safety.

"Officers involved in tackling terrorism operate in one of the most challenging environments within the MPS and they deserve our full support.

"Clearly we and our national police colleagues will need to consider issues raised by this prosecution and for the implementation of the Kratos policy, which has already been the subject of extensive review since 22 July.

"We believe it remains a legitimate policy and, in the absence of a viable alternative, we will continue to use it where necessary to protect London and Londoners from any threat posed by suicide bombers."