Post Office Scandal Sparks Major Criminal Inquiry, 80 Detectives Deployed Nationwide

By Thea Felicity

May 27, 2024 01:25 PM EDT

Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry Resumes Amid Public Outcry
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 11: A Post Office van parked outside the venue for the Post Office Horizon IT inquiry at Aldwych House on January 11, 2024 in London, England. Yesterday the British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak says the government will introduce a new law to "swiftly exonerate and compensate victims" of wrongful prosecution of Post Office workers over a 16-year period starting just before the new millennium. Between 1999 and 2015, more than 700 Post Office branch managers received criminal convictions, and some were sent to prison, when the faulty Horizon IT system made it appear that money was missing from their sites. A recent television docudrama has thrust the issue back in the spotlight.
(Photo : Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Police are gearing up for a significant criminal inquiry into the Post Office scandal, with plans to deploy 80 detectives across the country, as reported exclusively by The Guardian

The scandal revolved around the Post Office's Horizon software system, which erroneously showed discrepancies in branch accounts. Sub-post office operators were wrongly prosecuted for theft and other financial crimes. 

Many of these individuals faced severe consequences, including imprisonment, financial ruin, and even suicide, due to the inaccuracies in the system.

The scandal also involved allegations that Post Office senior leaders and the tech company Fujitsu were aware of these flaws but continued to prosecute individuals regardless.

READ MORE: No More Saturday Post Deliveries? Royal Mail Might Scrap This

The Investigation for Post Office

This investigation, expected to be as resource-intensive as a major murder or terrorism probe, will focus on potential perjury and perverting the course of justice by senior leaders at the Post Office and tech company Fujitsu.

Discussions with prosecutors have already begun regarding possible charges related to the prosecution of post office operators wrongly accused of theft due to flaws in the computer accounting system. 

However, scandal victims face a lengthy wait for justice, as police will not submit evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service until after the conclusion of a public inquiry expected in autumn 2025. 

Now, the process of reaching charging decisions may extend into 2026, with the possibility of further delays in criminal trials. 

With more than 900 sub-post office operators affected by the scandal, the public inquiry is also seeking to know the role of Royal Mail Group Limited and Post Office Limited in prosecuting individuals despite concerns about the reliability of the Horizon software system.

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