In this statement Assistant Commissioner Patricia Gallan explains why the Met will not apologise to Lord Bramall for the public way that he has been associated with false allegations of child sexual abuse. However, when a fuller understanding of the broader allegations are understood and the absurd nature of them are revealed at a later date, it is likely that calls for an apology will be renewed. In that context the public will find it extremely difficult to understand how Operation Midland made it past the initial investigative stages and evolved into the 18 month, multi million pound investigation employing scores of murder detectives which has resulted in the reputation of a respected public servant like Lord Bramall being tarnished with allegations of sadistic child sexual abuse. In that context, pressure will once again mount on the MPS to apologise for what is an obvious and avoidable failure rather than a normal investigation that has not led to charge.
This statement is however clearer on Lord Bramall’s innocence than the one sneaked out late last Friday evening. For the time being, and until further details can be made public, it is likely to be as much as can be expected.
The following statement has been issued following the conclusion of the police investigation re: Lord Bramall.
Assistant Commissioner Specialist Crime and Operations Patricia Gallan said:
“I fully recognise how unpleasant it may be to be investigated by the police over allegations of historic abuse. For a person to have their innocence publicly called into question must be appalling, and so I have every sympathy with Lord Bramall and his late wife and regret the distress they endured during this investigation.
“The Metropolitan Police are clear that citizens are innocent until proven guilty, and our letter to Lord Bramall’s lawyers now closes this investigation into the allegations against him.
“The possibility of an apology has been raised, and I thought it was important for the Metropolitan Police to respond publicly. This is an unusual step for us to take, but I think it is in the public interest for me to explain the dilemmas faced by policing in this regard.
“We have many serious allegations referred to us every year that we have a duty to investigate. It is, of course, a principle of British justice that everyone is equal before the law so that duty must apply equally to all, irrespective of their status or social standing.
“We always endeavour to investigate impartially and to follow the evidence without fear or favour. Where the evidence supports it, charges will be laid, and a jury will decide, not the police, and our language should always reflect this. The fact that after a full and impartial investigation the evidence did not support charges being laid, does not suggest that an allegation should not have been investigated.
“We have continued the investigation into the allegations against Lord Bramall until all relevant lines of enquiry have been examined, and recognising that they are one part of a detailed set of allegations. This has meant it has not been possible to complete the process as quickly as we would have liked, but that is an unfortunate consequence of the historic and complex nature of the allegations. An incomplete investigation would have served no one’s interest.
“We have endeavoured to act with courtesy and professionalism at all times, recognising the impact on the person is acute, especially when their identity enters the public domain. That is why we continue to hold the view that the identity of an individual facing allegations of this kind should not be made public until and unless they are charged, save there is an exceptional policing purpose. We have never named Lord Bramall and only do so now because he has spoken publicly and disclosed that he was the subject of this investigation, and we have contacted his legal representative and shared this statement before making it public.
“The Metropolitan Police accepts absolutely that we should apologise when we get things wrong, and we have not shrunk from doing so. However, if we were to apologise whenever we investigated allegations that did not lead to a charge, we believe this would have a harmful impact on the judgments made by officers and on the confidence of the public. Investigators may be less likely to pursue allegations they knew would be hard to prove, whereas they should be focused on establishing the existence, or otherwise, of relevant evidence.
“Naturally, there will be occasions on which this does not lead to a charge, but the investigator’s primary duty must always be to establish the evidence. It stands to reason that we cannot only investigate the guilty and that we are not making a mistake when we investigate allegations where we subsequently find there is no case to answer.
“I accept that we can always learn and improve. I accept too that the impersonal language we need to use in legal letters to a person’s lawyer may suggest that we have no sympathy for those who remain innocent at the end of an investigation. That is absolutely not the case, but we must continue to remain dispassionate and not introduce any personal sentiment or comment on the quality or otherwise of the evidence.
“I also accept as Lord Denning said in a famous judgment that police officers are answerable to the law and to the law alone. The government has decided to set up a statutory public inquiry under the Hon Lowell Goddard precisely because of contemporary concerns about historic investigations. It is a powerful recognition of public disquiet about the thoroughness of attempts by the police and other agencies to investigate allegations of abuse. The Inquiry has already made clear that it will be investigating cases where there are allegations of child sexual abuse and exploitation involving people of public prominence associated with Westminster. This may include Operation Midland. The MPS will, of course, fully co-operate with the Inquiry and account for its actions wherever that is requested.
“In conclusion, I have offered to meet Lord Bramall at the conclusion of Operation Midland to explain the nature of our investigation and why we have acted in the way we have. I do want to hear his views and understand whether we might have conducted ourselves differently in any of our engagements with him and his legal representatives. But I cannot do that before the criminal investigation is complete.”
10 responses to “Met Statement On Op Midland: No Apology But Bramall Cleared”
In these cases, the police normally say, ‘we are not looking for anyone else in connection with this enquiry’, This has been for Lord Bramall, and others, a difficult time, but the investigation of child abuse, and murder, must be done fully, without fear, or favour, including investigating relatives, and parents of the victims. This has been, and still remains a very complexed investigation, that even Sherlock Holmes would find ‘bizarre’. we all hope it will be resolved soon.
Agreed but I suspect the investigation and hearing ( hearings in relation to the VIPs investigated by the Police will come when inquiries and actions have been completed fort he majority and unlikely to take place until the back end of the present 5 year time span. Obviously Goddard may say hat hey are no including ex or why because no victim has raised issues with them or no campaigner or interest group has raised issues which merit their attention.
We should not forget that in her first statement of intent Justice Goddard spoke of thoroughness and comprehensiveness although I wonder if even hen she and the team appreciated what was to be store.
It should also be remembered that there were those who successfully campaigned for no matter how long it take or costs Inquiry.. Hopefully they at least are now satisfied although I not encountered anyone yet who is.
We must remember the (Midland) inquiry is still ongoing?
Ongoing in name only in my unsubstantiated opinion.
Are you John Prescott in disguise?
Three points everyone is considered innocent in law unless proved guilt in criminal proceedings before a court .. This applies to all the 300 plus VIPS still under investigation.
The Police have repeated their previous statement that there wa not evidence sufficient to bring about a prosecution. That have not said there was no evidence to justify the investigations.
They have not said that action is being taken against any complainant because there is evidence of any individual being malicious or deliberately setting up to waste police time etc
Thirdly; the statement echoes my point that the police decision for not necessarily end this particular matter. This will depend on the Justice Goddard Inquiry.
The police are between a rock and hard place as todays statements and questioning of the Home Office Minister in relation to the determination by a judge on the balance of probabilities of the murder of an infant by a sexual act and where allegations of police failures and of social services child care are subject of further investigation and a second inquest. Until the Inquest and due process completed the Home Secretary is right to await before further action except o underline the continue failure of the state to protect children bring misery to families of those dead and a lifetime of pain for the countless thousands of victims we now know we failed..
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Keystone Cops absolute disgrace and yet still they fudge it
It would have been gracious, and simple, to say sorry.
BOLLOCKS WERE IS OUR APOLOGY AFTER 5 INVESTIGATIONS OVER 30 YEARS AND STILL LIVE WITH BLAM BOLLOCKS ,NO APOLOGY …JUST NOT CAUGHT HE WILL BE.WHEN DEAD ALL WILL COME OUT