15 September 2023

Former NCA director-general appointed investigator in Daniel Khalife case

15 September 2023

A former director-general of the National Crime Agency has been appointed as the investigator into the prison escape of Daniel Khalife.

Keith Bristow QPM served as the first head of the agency from 2013 to 2016 after spending five years as chief constable of Warwickshire Police.

Khalife, 21, was remanded in custody at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Monday after allegedly escaping from HMP Wandsworth on September 6 by strapping himself to the underside of a food delivery lorry.

He was arrested on a canal towpath in west London on Saturday after being pulled off a push bike by a plain-clothes counter-terrorism officer.

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) said an independent investigation will seek to identify shortcomings and ensure lessons are learned to help prevent similar incidents.

It will consider a range of factors, including whether relevant protocols were in place at HMP Wandsworth when the escape happened and how Khalife was given access to materials that might have facilitated it.

Staffing levels and an assessment of relevant security measures, such as checks relating to the lorry, will also be scrutinised before findings and recommendations are provided.

The report on the investigation will be submitted to the Lord Chancellor and permanent secretary at the MoJ.

Meanwhile, the Justice Committee has launched a new inquiry examining the future prison population and estate capacity.

Committee chairman Sir Bob Neill said: “Concerns have been raised over safety, the condition of old prison buildings and the lack of staff to safely manage and rehabilitate offenders.

“This is a timely inquiry and the Justice Committee intends to take evidence from a wide range of stakeholders to examine the effectiveness of the Ministry of Justice’s current strategy for safely and effectively managing the prison population.”

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