Sunday, October 05, 2014

UK: Police 'told to limit abuse probe into politician': Derbyshire Chief Constable claims he was forbidden to arrest Labour Party man or search his home when he worked as a detective

Police chiefs blocked a paedophile probe into a top politician 25 years ago, one of the country’s most senior officers said yesterday.

Derbyshire Chief Constable Mick Creedon was serving as a detective sergeant in Leicestershire when allegations surfaced against Labour MP Greville Janner in 1989.

Mr Creedon said he was ordered to limit his inquiries into the MP, now Lord Janner of Braunstone.

He was forbidden from arresting the politician or searching his home, despite ‘credible evidence’ that warranted further investigation.

The chief constable said the message was passed on by a superintendent, but he believes it came from higher up. ‘The decision was clear, he will be interviewed by appointment and there won’t be a search of his home, his constituency office or his office in the Commons,’ he said, adding: ‘It was a decision made by people more senior than me.’

His comments are likely to fuel widespread dissatisfaction with the way allegations against Lord Janner were originally handled.

The claims surfaced during an investigation into Frank Beck, the manager of Leicester children’s homes, who died in jail after being convicted of abusing boys in his care.

One former care home resident alleged that he had a two-year sexual relationship with the MP when he was a teenager in the 1970s.

The alleged victim later caused controversy when he aired his claim while giving evidence at Beck’s trial in 1991. When the allegations became public, the jury was told they were a ‘red herring’ and irrelevant.

The police inquiry was limited to an interview at Leicestershire police headquarters during which Lord Janner gave ‘no comment’ answers. A file was sent to the CPS, which decided there was insufficient evidence to bring charges.

MPs on all sides rallied around Lord Janner when he spoke in the House of Commons to condemn the claims and say they did not contain a ‘shred of truth’. But the witness was able to produce affectionate letters allegedly from the MP, some on House of Commons notepaper. He also gave a detailed description of the inside of his home.

Mr Creedon said there were concerns about the credibility of the evidence against Lord Janner, including the veracity of the key witness. But he added: ‘I look at this now, as a chief constable, as a senior investigating officer, in the light of many inquiries before and since – and one of the lines of inquiry could have been to search the house.

‘My view was always that the allegations were very serious, there was enough evidence to put a file before the CPS, and as investigating officers our job was to search out as much evidence as possible to prove or disprove the offence. My interpretation of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act would be that under the circumstances it would have been justified to search the house and offices.’

Lord Janner, who represented Leicester North West and then Leicester West for 27 years, was made a life peer on his retirement from Parliament in 1997.

The father-of-three, who is now 86, has repeatedly strongly denied the allegations against him. He is currently at the centre of a new inquiry by the Leicestershire force called Operation Enamel, which has led to warrants being obtained to search his home in north London and his office in the House of Lords.

But detectives have been unable to question Lord Janner because he is frail and suffering from dementia.

Original report here



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