Calls for police investigation after report shows post office knew of Horizon disruption

Calls for police investigation after report shows post office knew of Horizon disruption

A politician has joined former sub-postmasters in calling for the post office to face a police investigation after an investigation found it knew about errors in its Horizon IT system.

Labor MP Kevan Jones has called on the Metropolitan Police to specifically investigate whether bosses continue to blame subpostmasters despite being aware of flaws in Fujitsu’s software as early as 2017, the BBC reported.

Horizon was launched in 1999, but due to system errors it was reported that money was missing. This led the Postal Service to prosecute 736 subpostmasters and subpostmasters between 2000 and 2014, sending some to prison.

While those wrongly convicted are set to be acquitted following a public outcry, further action could be taken against the post office following the miscarriage of justice.

The Metropolitan Police have been investigating the Horizon scandal since 2020, but Mr Jones said they “need to address this specific detail”.

He added: “I now think the police need to start looking into this. There will of course be more to come out of the public inquiry, but there is now enough data to begin the investigation.”

“Unless people are brought to justice and asked what they knew and why they took such actions, then there will be no justice.”

A spokesman told the BBC: “Well, we have an investigation underway – we will not go into the details of the investigation.”

The force told the Standard it had nothing further to add.

Alan Bates led a legal challenge on behalf of 555 subpostmasters in 2018 and 2019 that successfully proved the post office had made wrongful convictions. The events were dramatized in the ITV series Mr Bates v The Post Office.

The Post Office then spent £100 million of public money defending itself.

The Post Office declined to comment when approached by the Standard.