The Metropolitan Police investigation into the Grenfell Tower fire is focusing on the construction, refurbishment and management of Grenfell Tower as well as the emergency services’ response.
The police service said that the types of offences that may be discovered could range from fraud, misconduct, health and safety breaches, breaches of fire safety regulations or manslaughter on a corporate and/or an individual level.
So far the investigation has identified 2,400 different people to speak to, including residents, firefighters, police officers and other witnesses. More than 1,000 statements have been taken.
Officers previously said they had identified 60 companies that had been involved in the construction, refurbishment or management of Grenfell. That number has now grown to 336 different organisations. Each is being contacted to establish exactly what its role was.
Where their role is considered relevant, digital downloads of all business records are being recovered, the police said. So far, more than 31 million documents have been recovered and it is anticipated that number will increase. Specialist software will be used to enable officers to process and search those millions of documents in order to find any relevant material that may be used in evidence at a later stage.
The forensic examination of the tower is ongoing and will continue into the New Year. This includes photographing and documenting every room on every floor, paying particular attention to fire safety provisions such as fire doors, the standards of construction work, the routing of pipework and smoke extraction systems. After that, there will be a series of further forensic tests including reconstructions. Only after that work is complete will officers be in a position to fully understand what happened, what went wrong and what questions need to be answered.
Detective Chief Superintendant Fiona McCormack said: "The investigation into what happened at Grenfell Tower is a priority for the Met and we are determined to find the answers that so many desperately seek. The distress and suffering caused to so many families and loved ones that night is harrowing. That night people lost their homes, all their possessions and tragically their families and loved ones.
"Outside of counter-terrorism investigations, this is the biggest investigation the Metropolitan Police Service is undertaking and the scale is huge... But we only get one chance to investigate and it is important things are done properly.
"We do now think the final figure of those who died may not be as high as 80 but we don’t know exactly at this stage. We have analysed the thousands of calls received after the fire to confirm and eliminate missing people as well as looking at CCTV from the foyer who shows us clearly some 240 people who escaped the fire. Some of those missing person reports were mistaken and a small number were fraudulent. The process is ongoing but we now have a better idea of figures. However, we still don't know if there was someone inside Grenfell Tower who died who was not reported missing, and we won't know until the searches are complete."
Around 200 officers, drawn from across the Met, are working full-time on the Grenfell Tower investigation in a variety of roles including family liaison, search teams, statement-takers and exhibits officers.