Surrey Police will work to fully support the coronial process following today’s (January 31st) decision to resume inquests into the deaths of five people in the 1974 Guildford pub bombings.
In anticipation of new inquests, the Force had already begun cataloguing all material held in relation to the bombings and over the past 12 months has logged more than 4,000 documents.
This task remains on-going and is complex in nature. The bulk of material has been in storage for more than 40 years and was archived as per the processes of the 1970s and not as it would be today in a structured, indexed and electronic format. Due to the large volume of material, it is anticipated it will take a further 12 -18 months to complete this process.
As outlined at the pre-inquest review hearing in December, the case is not being actively re-investigated or made subject to formal review at this time, but once all the material held has been catalogued, an assessment will be carried out to consider whether re-investigation is a viable option.
Prior to today’s decision, relatives of each of the five victims of the bombings have been contacted to outline the work being undertaken in respect of these materials by Surrey Police and the purpose of our proposed assessment.