Communities Secretary Sajid Javid has announced guidance from the Director of Public Prosecutions not to prosecute tenants at Grenfell Tower and Grenfell Walk for unlawful subletting.
This would apply when any individual comes forward with information for the authorities about those who were in their flats on the night of the fire.
This follows the government’s commitment to do all that it can to support those who have been affected by the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower.
Anecdotal evidence from the community suggests that some of the tenants in the tower block may have been unlawfully sub-letting their properties. This may mean people are reluctant to come forward with valuable information that would help to identify anyone still missing.
The Director of Public Prosecutions, in consultation with the Attorney General, has now issued guidance to prosecutors not to bring charges for this offence, given the public interest must be in being able to identify the victims of the fire. The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea has also confirmed it will respect this guidance.
Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said:
Supporting those affected by the tragic events at Grenfell Tower has been the absolute priority of the government. That includes making sure that loved ones still missing are identified. Therefore I would urge those with information to come forward without fear of prosecution.
Attorney General Jeremy Wright QC said:
Every piece of information will help the authorities accurately identify who was in the flats at the time of the fire. I hope this statement provides some much needed clarity to residents and the local community, and encourages anyone with information to come forward.
Director of Public Prosecutions, Alison Saunders, said:
It is a priority for investigators to establish who was in Grenfell Tower on that tragic day and it is crucial that we do everything possible to support them.
Guidance issued by the Director of Public Prosecutions makes clear that tenants of Grenfell Tower and Grenfell Walk who were sub-letting their properties on the night of the fire and who have, or do, come forward to the authorities so they can be confirmed as safe and or to indicate that others were resident in their flat when the fire took place, should not face prosecution for offences under section 1 of the Prevention of Social Housing Fraud Act 2013.