Police and security failures on the night of the Manchester Arena bombing cost lives and the Islamic State-inspired attacker should have been identified as a threat.
Sir John Saunders, chairman of the public inquiry, yesterday outlined missed opportunities to stop Salman Abedi, who murdered 22 people when he blew himself up after a pop concert by Ariana Grande in May 2017.
The failures included officers from British Transport Police disappearing for a 2-hour meal break, including a 5-mile drive to buy a kebab. Sir John also repeated that 15-minutes before the blast, a security steward “fobbed off” a member of the public who reported his concerns about Abedi, and stressed police had a number of opportunities to spot him and take measures before the attack.
Issuing his first conclusions after hearing evidence in September last year, Sir John said he considered it likely that Abedi would have detonated his device if confronted “but the loss of life and injury is highly likely to have been less”. Abedi should have been identified “as a threat by those responsible for the security of the arena and disruptive intervention undertaken”.
In a series of recommendations, he supported making it ‘a legal requirement for large venues to protect customers and staff from terror attacks.’