Vic­tim of false VIP child abuse claims slams watch­dog

Anger: Ex-Tory MP brands probe into of­fi­cers ‘pa­thetic’

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - NEWS - BY HENRY VAUGHAN

For­mer Tory MP Har­vey Proc­tor has branded the po­lice watch­dog’s probe into five of­fi­cers in­volved in the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into false claims of a VIP West­min­ster pae­dophile ring “a white­wash”.

The In­de­pen­dent Of­fice for Po­lice Con­duct (IOPC) iden­ti­fied “short­com­ings and or­gan­i­sa­tional fail­ings” but found no ev­i­dence of mis­con­duct.

Metropoli­tan Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Dame Cres­sida Dick said she was “deeply sorry” for the mis­takes made dur­ing the force’s in­ves­ti­ga­tions into the false claims made by Carl Beech, then known as “Nick”, who is now serv­ing an 18-year sen­tence for fab­ri­cat­ing a se­ries of claims of rape, tor­ture and mur­der by in­no­cent, well­known names from the mil­i­tary, se­cu­rity ser­vices and pol­i­tics.

His claims led to raids on the homes of D-Day vet­eran Lord Bra­mall, Lady Diana Brit­tan, widow of for­mer home sec­re­tary Leon Brit­tan, and Mr Proc­tor.

High Court judge Sir Richard Hen­riques found the war­rants were “ob­tained un­law­fully” and that the district judge who granted them was “mis­led”, al­though the IOPC found no ev­i­dence the five of­fi­cers in­ves­ti­gated had de­lib­er­ately mis­led the judge.

The watch­dog found gaps in pro­cesses and sys­tems in a re­port pub­lished yes­ter­day.

Di­rec­tor gen­eral Michael Lock­wood said: “The IOPC is very clear that there must be ac­count­abil­ity and as­sur­ance to the pub­lic that the weak­nesses we have iden­ti­fied are ad­dressed so th­ese mis­takes can never be re­peated.”

Mr Proc­tor said the IOPC re­port was a “pa­thetic at­tempt to ex­cuse the po­lice for their mis­takes, in­com­pe­tence and neg­li­gence”.

Sir Richard has called on Home Sec­re­tary Priti Pa­tel to take ac­tion.

IOPC di­rec­tor gen­eral Michael Lock­wood said: “The IOPC’s legal re­mit is to in­ves­ti­gate se­ri­ous in­ci­dents in­volv­ing the po­lice and to con­sider whether there is a case to an­swer for po­lice mis­con­duct.

“It was not to con­duct a re­view of all the as­ser­tions made in the Hen­riques Re­view.”

IN­VES­TI­GA­TION: Har­vey Proc­tor’s home was raided by po­lice in the wake of the false pae­dophile ring al­le­ga­tions

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