Po­lice are stonewalling over fail­ures

The Wharf - - The Week -

The Metropoli­tan Po­lice Force spent mil­lions of pounds of valu­able re­sources in pur­su­ing un­founded cases of child abuse.

The in­ves­ti­ga­tion was ac­com­pa­nied by nam­ing and tra­duc­ing pub­lic fig­ures based on al­le­ga­tions made by a serial fan­ta­sist.

As this in­ves­ti­ga­tion col­lapsed the Com­mis­sioner of the Met ap­pointed the dis­tin­guished re­tired judge Sir Richard Hen­riques to “ex­am­ine how po­lice forces can main­tain the con­fi­dence of vic­tims, while avoid­ing the ap­pear­ance of be­liev­ing any story they are told”.

Al­ready the report is sur­rounded by con­tro­versy as the Met will only be pub­lish­ing a sum­mary of the con­clu­sions as to how this in­ves­ti­ga­tion spi­ralled out of con­trol and dam­aged the rep­u­ta­tion of, among oth­ers, our most dis­tin­guished liv­ing for­mer sol­dier.

Why were names re­vealed? Why were 20 po­lice of­fi­cers sent to the home of two peo­ple aged over 90, one suf­fer­ing from de­men­tia ac­com­pa­nied by a me­dia frenzy? Why were two in­no­cent en­ter­tain­ers, now ex­on­er­ated, sub­ject to this treat­ment?

That this hap­pened is a scan­dal and we de­serve an­swers as to how rep­u­ta­tions were dam­aged.

When I learned the se­nior of­fi­cer who has been at the fore­front of stonewalling the fail­ure of the po­lice in in­ves­ti­gat­ing cor­rup­tion in Tower Ham­lets was brief­ing the press be­fore pub­li­ca­tion of the Hen­riques report, I re­alised we have a long way to go to achieve an­swers.

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