Metropolitan Police Chief Bernard Hogan-Howe this week defended the criticism levelled at the force regarding Operation Midland – the investigation of child abuse and the murder of 3 individuals at the hands of a VIP paedophile ring in the seventies and eighties.
Around ten months ago an individual, known as Nick, claimed that he had witnessed the murder of three children whilst being sexually abused by high profile individuals. The high profile individuals include men from politics and the military. This week the Met came under fire from various factions for failing to progress the case in a timely manner and for stating that the claims were “credible and true” before a full investigation had even been conducted.
It has been stated that this statement has perverted justice as it is for the jury to decide whether claims are true. The Met released a statement this week stating that they found the claims to be credible but that they were wrong to state that they were true.
Lord Macdonald QC, former Director of Public Prosecutions, lambasted the Met stating that the statement clarifying their position was very late in coming. He stated that there is a separation of powers to ensure justice is achieved – the police investigate, the Crown Prosecution Service decides whether to prosecute, the jury decide whether the allegations are true and judges sentence.
When the police assume the role of prosecutor and juror it causes problems for the ongoing investigation culminating in a loss of balance between the powers.
Lord Macdonald QC intimated that the Metropolitan Police have lost their sense of balance regarding this investigation. However, the Metropolitan Police defended themselves stating that they are learning from past mistakes, particularly with regards to their handling of the Savile claims. For this reason they are fully investigating every allegation of abuse and conducting fair and thorough investigations in to every allegation.