Met Police has not launched an investigation into the Covid-19 vaccine programme

20 January 2022
What was claimed

The Metropolitan Police is investigating the Covid-19 vaccine programme.

Our verdict

The force confirmed to Full Fact there is no criminal investigation and no indication any crime has been committed.

Multiple social media posts claim the Metropolitan Police has launched a criminal investigation into the Covid-19 vaccine programme. This is not true.

Some of these posts include recordings of phone calls from members of the public (with what seem to be Metropolitan Police staff) asking for details of a case they claim is known to a Criminal Investigation Department in Hammersmith, London.  

One recording includes a screenshot of an “URGENT PUBLIC NOTICE”, titled “Covid-19 vaccines are now under Criminal Investigation”, along with a crime reference number and QR codes to scan for “critical case information''. In this same recording, the caller quotes the reference number and asks “Can you just confirm that it is under criminal investigation about (sic) the vaccines?” The call handler replies “Yes, yeah it is.”

The Metropolitan Police confirmed to Full Fact that a crime reference number was created following “allegations of criminality in relation to the UK’s vaccine programme”. However, it said no criminal investigation has been launched and it has so far found no evidence of criminality. 

A spokesman said: “On 20 December (2021), a number of documents were submitted at a west London police station in support of allegations of criminality in relation to the UK’s vaccine programme.

“A crime reference number was created and provided to the complainants. This is not an indication that an investigation is under way or that a crime has been committed, it merely acknowledges that an allegation has been received and recorded.

“Officers have been tasked with reviewing the documents. This process is time consuming and has been prolonged by the submission of further documents by people encouraged to do so online.

“While the assessment continues, to date there is nothing to indicate that a crime has been committed and no criminal investigation has been launched.”

Addressing the recording where a police call handler appeared to confirm there was a criminal investigation, the spokesman added: “We are aware of a recording posted online in which a Met Police call handler answers “yes” to a question asking her to confirm the existence of an ongoing investigation. The call handler misspoke.”

When scanned, the QR codes (which appear in a number of Facebook posts) show copies of letters sent to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and The International Criminal Court alleging wrongdoing related to Covid-19 vaccines and their rollout. The QR codes also provide a link to misleading information about Covid-19 vaccines. They do not link to the Metropolitan Police or other policing websites. 

Other recordings shared on YouTube also claim it is a “real criminal investigation” and encourage “anyone in Hammersmith, London, (to) get your reports in.” 

The letters and documents available through the QR codes are lengthy, some of which allege criminality or wrongdoing including misconduct in public office and that Covid-19 vaccines have caused “catastrophic death and injury”

As of 5 January 2022, the MHRA had received 1,932 Yellow Card reports of patients dying shortly after vaccination, out of more than 51 million people who have received a first dose of a vaccine. 

However, an adverse event that occurs after vaccination did not necessarily occur because of it. As the MHRA explains: “The nature of Yellow Card reporting means that reported events are not always proven side effects. Some events may have happened anyway, regardless of vaccination. This is particularly the case when millions of people are vaccinated, and especially when most vaccines are being given to the most elderly people and people who have underlying illness.”

As we have written many times before, the vaccines are highly effective against serious illness and death from Covid-19.

Posts left on messaging service Telegram indicate the investigation claim began spreading at the end of 2021. One post from 20 December 2021 states “a criminal complaint” was “accepted by the Metropolitan Police” demanding “the vaccine rollout is stopped immediately.”

The National Police Chiefs’ Council told Full Fact it was aware of people visiting police stations to report “offences related to the Covid-19 vaccines” and said there had been  “incidents where individuals have sought to intimidate and serve papers on staff and volunteers working in settings related to the Covid-19 vaccine.”

A spokesman added: “Any efforts to intimidate, harass, or commit assault against emergency service workers, staff and volunteers will not be tolerated and will be treated and investigated as a criminal matter by police forces.”

Image courtesy office of ashrafmahmood licensed under CC BY 2.0

This article is part of our work fact checking potentially false pictures, videos and stories on Facebook. You can read more about this—and find out how to report Facebook content—here. For the purposes of that scheme, we’ve rated this claim as partly false because while complaints of alleged criminality have been filed there is no criminal investigation into the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine programme.

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