THIS STINKS, IT REALLY STINKS.
More details have emerged from the Inquiry into child sexual abuse (IICSA) linked to Westminster.
The Westminster hearing on Tuesday, March 5 heard that an Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) report into investigations identified as having a link to Westminster issues states: “In 36 of the 37 operations considered here, no sufficient evidence has been obtained to support allegations of police misconduct.
The police watchdog said its probe into allegations of police misconduct in 37 investigations had uncovered no sufficient evidence in 36 of them, while another investigation could not go ahead because the relevant police officer had died.
The Westminster strand of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA), which began this week, is examining whether there was a culture in Westminster of trying to shield people of public prominence from proper investigation.
It is one of 13 different strands in the inquiry, one of the others being the abuse of children who were in the care of Nottinghamshire councils.
Although Melanie Shaw, who blew the whistle on abuse at Beechwood children’s home in Mapperley, has claimed that children from the home were taken down to London to be abused by ‘the rich and elite’, none of the 37 allegations of police misconduct related to Nottingham or Nottinghamshire.
“Twenty-three of the operations did not identify evidence of the allegation. In eight cases, this was simply because relevant evidence could not be obtained; although of these eight, five of the allegations contained inconsistencies or discrepancies that were potentially undermining.
In respect of the other 15 cases, the investigation obtained evidence that undermined the allegations, wholly or in part.
“In one operation, issues regarding an officer attending a police cell containing evidence were identified, however, the relevant officer is now deceased and this matter cannot be reasonably progressed any further.”
There were 24 ‘persons of public prominence’ named in the allegations, 16 of whom related to Westminster, the IOPC (formerly the IPCC) said.
The late MPs Cyril Smith and Leon Brittan were the two “most frequently” mentioned, with their names cropping up in 11 of the 37 operations.
Seventeen of the Westminster investigations were based on allegations made by or information from former police officers, while 13 were made by members of the public and seven were made through the media, the report said.
The bulk of the investigations, which looked at how the probes were conducted rather than whether the allegations themselves were true, focus on the 1970s and 1980s and of the 37, 32 have been completed, the inquiry heard.
Giving evidence at Tuesday’s IICSA hearing in London, deputy senior investigator Chris Mahaffey, from the IOPC, said there appeared to have been a difference in the culture in relation to the police hierarchy at that time.
He said: “I think there was a slight difference in the culture then when compared to the culture now, and I think it probably was the case where more junior officers didn’t think it was their place to challenge or question any decision made by a more senior officer.
I think that’s changed considerably, but I think it’s nevertheless a theme within many of the 37 investigations.”
However, the report warns that while this could increase the plausibility of allegations, it is not evidential.
The inquiry heard that the historical nature of the probes meant there were a number of difficulties in investigating, including that some of the relevant people had died, the passage of time made it hard for people to remember details, and that some documents had been destroyed in accordance with whatever was the normal policy of the force at the time.
Mr Mahaffey said while, in most cases, there was a willingness from relevant people to help, there have been two instances where police officers have refused to engage in the investigations.
He told the hearing: “There’s one particular officer who has wholly declined to assist, and there is another where one officer initially engaged with us but has declined to assist further, and I think that was prior to him or her making a formal witness statement.”
The inquiry heard 27 of the operations concerned allegations that evidence or lines of enquiry had been suppressed, seven that investigations were stopped or threatened to be stopped, two that someone was charged for a less serious crime than they should have been because of their status, and one that officers had harassed and intimidated a member of the public.
Former Home Office minister Lord Taverne told the inquiry he could not recall having come across any allegations of alleged child sex abuse during his time in the post.
He said: “Well, it seems surprising, if I was in charge of the police at the time and of crime, but I can’t recollect any.”
The Westminster strand of the inquiry is expected to sit for three weeks and has already been criticised by the son of the late Labour peer Lord Janner as “a witch hunt against dead politicians”.
The inquiry continues.
CORRUPT TO THE CORE.
Earlier this week the IICSA heard how a
Vice Squad inspector told the child sex abuse inquiry that an ‘undercover op gathered enough evidence to arrest Cyril Smith but a senior officer said drop it’
Its emerged a retired Superintendent told the inquiry he tried to obtain an arrest warrant for the late MP in the late 70s but was turned down due to fears of ‘political upheaval’!
A police investigation into Mr Glen’s allegations found a ‘clear conflict’ between the evidence provided by him and other officers who worked with or alongside him!
The investigation dubbed Operation Beech found that ‘not one other officer recalls an investigation involving Cyril Smith’.
Records, which included photographs of Smith, who died in 2010 aged 82, taken during the undercover operation, would have been retained for ‘five or six years’ in line with police policy at the time, before being destroyed,
Claims that Smith, who died in 2010 aged 82, abused boys, including at institutions across Rochdale, such as the notorious Knowl View residential school, dogged him throughout his career.
But despite a number of police investigations, he was never prosecuted.
Well, there’s a surprise!
WE SUGGEST NOTHING HAS CHANGED AND THESE COVER-UPS ARE AS RIFE IN PARLIAMENT THEN AS THEY ARE NOW.