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Carl Beech scandal: why the police watchdog is under fire

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Carl Beech was jailed for 18 years in July for falsely alleging a VIP paedophile ring

Credits Getty Images Alt Text Carl Beech

Five officers exonerated despite 43 errors shown in review of Operation Midland

Reaction Monday, October 7, 2019 – 3:16pm

A former High Court judge has criticised the police watchdog after five officers were exonerated over the Carl Beech scandal.

The detectives were cleared of wrongdoing in their handling of the VIP sex ring allegations made up by Beech.

Beech, 51, from Gloucester, was jailed for 18 years in July after he was found guilty of 12 counts of perverting the course of justice and one of fraud. He falsely claimed that a series of public figures abused, tortured and even murdered children in the 1970s and 1980s.

See related The extraordinary tale of Carl Beech Carl Beech convicted of lying about VIP paedophile ring

A report by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), released today, found that no officer should face disciplinary action, “triggering claims of a whitewash”, says The Guardian.

Former Conservative MP Harvey Proctor, one of Beechs targets, criticised the findings, saying: “This report shows the IOPC is worse than useless.”

The IOPC investigation began in 2016 on the basis of a report by retired judge Sir Richard Henriques into the Metropolitan Polices handling of the case, known as Operation Midland.

Henriques report, large parts of which were published by Scotland Yard in full for the first time on Friday, pinpointed 43 mistakes by officers looking into the Beech allegations. The most serious was that police misled a judge to get warrants to search the homes of falsely accused suspects.

The IOPC “identified shortcomings and organisational failings”, and made 16 recommendations to the force. However, with regards to the officers, it concluded that “the allegations Nick [the name that Beech was known by] made were grave and warranted investigation and we believe those involved in applying for the search warrant acted with due diligence and in good faith at the time”.

But in an article for the Daily Mail, Henriques says the IOPC failed to mount a “vigorous investigation” and the “tardy” publication of its report “should give rise to the most serious public disquiet”.

While all five officers “must be presumed innocent”, the IRead More – Source

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