Fury as Met chief Cressida Dick says police should NOT face a criminal probe over bungled’ VIP child abuse’ investigation after believing lies of paedophile fantasist ‘Nick’
- Cressida Dick said a fresh probe into officers would be ‘completely improper’
- Scotland Yard launched the Operation Midland investigation into Carl Beech’s claims
- Beech, known as Nick in court, lied about being abused by VIP paedophile ring
The head of Scotland Yard last night provoked fury after she rebuffed calls for officers involved in the bungled VIP paedophile inquiry to face a new probe.
In her first comments directly addressing the scandal, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said it would be ‘completely improper’ to open a fresh investigation into the conduct of the officers.
Scotland Yard launched the disastrous £2.5 million Operation Midland investigation into claims made by the fantasist Carl Beech – formerly known as Nick – that he had been sexually abused and tortured by a former prime minister, home secretary and the heads of the Army and intelligence services.
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick (left) said it would be ‘completely improper’ to open a fresh investigation into the conduct of the officers involved in the £2.5 million Operation Midland investigation into claims made by the fantasist Carl Beech (right)
Beech, a 51-year-old convicted paedophile, also said he had witnessed three murders committed by members of the secretive ‘VIP’ group – including two at the hands of the former Conservative MP Harvey Proctor.
During Operation Midland, the homes of former home secretary Leon Brittan, former head of the Army Lord Bramall and Mr Proctor were raided.
Last month, the ex-High Court judge Sir Richard Henriques, who wrote a scathing report on the scandal, told the Daily Mail that officers used false evidence to obtain search warrants for the raids.
He said detectives did not have the right to search the properties as their description of Nick as a ‘consistent’ witness was false, effectively fooling a judge into granting the warrants.
That sparked calls for the officers involved to face a new criminal probe into their conduct. But last night, those calls were rebuffed by Miss Dick.
Deputy assistant commissioner Steve Rodhouse, who oversaw the bungled probe, is now director general (operations) of the National Crime Agency
Claiming the officers had acted in ‘good faith,’ she said: ‘My view is that the officers’ actions, including in relation to the warrant, have been investigated by the proper authorities, the Independent Office for Police Conduct. They have come to a conclusion. For me to bring in another force to investigate them would be completely improper.’
Referring to her predecessor Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, who has refused to comment on Sir Richard’s intervention in the Mail, Miss Dick told the London Evening Standard: ‘I’m not going to personally judge what people did. I believe we have learned lessons.’ On the day of Beech’s conviction, the Met announced that the police complaints watchdog had cleared all five leading officers involved of any wrongdoing.
It later emerged four had been allowed to retire on full pensions, while deputy assistant commissioner Steve Rodhouse, who oversaw the bungled probe, is now director general (operations) of the National Crime Agency.
An independent report compiled by Sir Richard into the police investigation identified 43 separate blunders, however it was heavily redacted. An unredacted version is expected next month.
Carl Beech was convicted by a jury at Newcastle Crown Court of 12 counts of perverting the course of justice and one of fraud
Reacting to Miss Dick’s comments, Mr Proctor last night called on the Home Secretary to appoint an outside force to investigate any alleged wrongdoing.
Mr Proctor, who lost his job and home as a result of Beech’s lies and the ensuing police investigation, said: ‘The Commissioner has jumped the gun by deciding it would be improper for her to call for a new criminal investigation.
‘Ms Dick has at last spoken deliberately before the fuller Henriques report is published in the next week or two. She and I know what is in it. To read it, I had to sign a confidentiality agreement.
‘No person who has read it can credibly come to her conclusion. When the unredacted report is published I hope people will read it closely and remember what I say.
‘What I can say is that if the Commissioner will not appoint an outside police force to investigate Sir Richard Henriques’s allegations, the Home Secretary must.
‘I call upon Priti Patel to appoint Northumbria Police to undertake the investigation of Steve Rodhouse and other former Metropolitan Police detectives forthwith.’
In July, Beech was jailed for 18 years for lying about the existence of the paedophile ring and fraud relating to a £22,000 compensation claim as a victim of crime.