The latest Review to be announced in connection with issues relating to sexual abuse is that of the Metropolitan Police. It will consider the way the police have investigated non-recent sexual allegations involving public figures. This will include the work of Operation Midland. Operation Midland has been investigating the alleged VIP ring associated with Dolphin Sq and other locations. It has caused much controversy. The evidence of one witness, Nick, has been much commented upon and much speculation ensued. It has led to some high profile requests and subsequent criticism of the work of the police. The review will be undertaken by Sir Richard Henriques, who also undertook a review in connection with Lord Janner.
The IICSA has already announced an investigation in connection with prominent people and organisations linked with Westminster. The Met have said they have advised the IICSA of this Review and that a copy of the report will be passed to it. It is however a little surprising that the Met review has not been incorporated in to the IICSA investigation, as opposed to yet another separate review being held, which has the potential for overlap and duplication of costs.
Lord Bramall, speaking on Radio 4 last week, noted his concerns not just about his case but, from a much wider perspective. He thought it was “a matter of national concern” that the police were investigating matters in the way they were. The challenge of anonymity of the accused as against the need for transparency and openness enabling more victims to come forward is not something which is easily resolved. The Met says that the Review will make recommendations about whether there are ways to improve the investigation process for all of those involved. These are all issues which are of relevance not just for the Met and would seem more appropriately to fit with the work of the IICSA so that wider national lessons can be learned and implemented.
Written by Paula Jefferson, partner