Cyril Smith And Operation Hedgerow


I tweeted about this earlier this evening as I have done before but then I realised that I haven’t actually made a blog post about it. I don’t know why, I guess that I thought that readers had heard enough Cyril Smith connections and really want something about a politician who is alive. I’m sure it won’t be too long before that happens, just as I’m sure that victims of Cyril Smith’s don’t feel that he is ‘old news’.

Sometimes posts on The Needle are speculative and sometimes not, I hope it is clear to readers which is which. This story is definitely not speculative, it is impeccably sourced and I’d stake my reputation that it is true. To my knowledge this has not been reported in the MSM.

For some background regarding this read: Operation Hedgerow (1987-89)

To understand how Cyril Smith was identified as a child abuser during this police investigation you need look at the innovative approach that the police team took.

From the article linked above;

The Operation was rated a success because of the novel police approach.

Firstly, they took a different tack with the allegations. Normally, an alleged abuser would be confronted immediately, putting the word of a child against that of an adult and making evidence difficult to collect. Instead, a team was established to keep the abuser’s house under surveillance. They noted the visits of boys and other adults and tailed them home to discover who they were.

Secondly, they formed a very close link to Brent Social Services Department (SSD) at an early stage. David Divine, the director of Brent SSD was called upon to discuss working together. Nine experienced social workers were assigned to the core team and these people supported both the children, their parents and the police.

Thirdly, DCI Gaspar viewed their success in terms of shifting the power base [of procurers of boys]

Fourthly, the police took the approach of investigating all the leads, and expanding the operation, rather than limiting themselves to dealing with the single complaint from one social worker. This resulted in the exposure of two paedophile rings.

This all led to a huge number of leads and an unprecedented number of arrests.

While trailing and observing the ‘rent boys’ they were led to Cyril Smith.

And so we have yet another example of a police investigation independently stumbling onto the fact that Cyril Smith had an unhealthy sexual interest in young boys.

It joins a long list of similar incidences starting in the 1960s through the 1970s and into the 1980s including Elm Guest House. Operation Hedgerow 1987-1989  is the last occasion I know of.

This police operation took place at a time before computers were widely used. Cyril Smith is now just a name on an index card, among many,  and only those involved in that police investigation can provide any context other than that he was a person of interest.

Though it explains the police ‘gossip’ that Jackie Malton refers to in this LBC interview.


Anyway, it’s another piece of the jigsaw for you.


Filed under Abuse, News, Politics

12 responses to “Cyril Smith And Operation Hedgerow

  1. Pingback: Cyril Smith And Operation Hedgerow | Alternative News Network

  2. dpack

    gathering further intel before taking action makes sense in many contexts.

  3. Jessica A Bruno (waybeyondfedup)
  4. Charles Cooper

    We KNOW there are countless perpetrators -alive today – of these vile, criminal acts who were at one time in the government, senior civil service, the security agencies or whatever, but it seems very difficult at present for them to be brought to book. One of the reasons for this is that all of these disgusting individuals have dope on each other, so it’s a very real threat when one of them says, “If I go down, we all go down.”
    Perhaps one approach to get around this and get things moving would be to identify one key, well-connected perpetrator against whom there is highly compelling evidence, and offer him a supergrass deal whereby if he spills the beans on everyone he knows and blows the whole thing wide open, he will avoid punishment himself, be given a new identity and relocated elsewhere. I’d hate to see even one of these scumbags getting off the hook, but if the alternative is that NONE of them ever see the inside of a prison cell, it would IMV be a price worth paying…

  5. tdf

    Thanks for this interesting blog-post. It does look like police had the right approach here. And yet, lamentably, Smith died an innocent man in the eyes of the law. On a politics internet forum I used to contribute too, when a thread was put up announcing his death, there were no shortage of those who tried to damp down speculation regarding allegations of his abuses (to be fair, this was a few years before publication of the Danzcuk/Baker book, but the reality of it is, as that book records, allegations against Smith did make their way into the MSM during his lifetime).

    I have thought all along that coppers (mostly) want to do the right thing but investigations into VIP’s have been closed down at higher levels or due to political interference. I hope this culture has or is changing.

  6. I’d hate facts to get in the way of a good story, but Op Hedgerow 1984-86 did indeed arrest 24 men. However only 3 were charged and convicted – a shoe-repairer, a clerk and an unemployed labourer!! Big fish indeed!!

  7. Pingback: Breakdown Of IPCC Investigations | theneedleblog

  8. Reblogged this on theneedleblog and commented:

    From November 2014

  9. joekano76

    Reblogged this on Floating-voter.

  10. Emm Jay

    TDF – good point re Simon Danczuk’s book, I’ve read it and found it jaw droppingly sickening at what Smith got away with and how highly protected he really was. Re MSM, the book states that Kevin Maguire for one, was on to him. So were a lot of really decent detectives/police. Makes me feel ashamed to be British. I pray for justice for all of these victims/survivors past and present. God help them.