By announcing this broader inquiry into VIP abuse investigations, Met Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe cleverly heads off calls for a specific Operation Midland inquiry once it closes, which would be extremely embarrassing, and at the same time the findings, when they are eventually published, will be diluted.
Nobody ever said BHH was stupid. He knew it was coming and he’s set the agenda on his terms.
The Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, has asked a former High Court judge to examine the way non-recent sexual allegations against public figures are investigated.
Sir Richard Henriques has agreed to conduct the independent review of a number of investigations and make recommendations about whether there are ways to improve the process for all of those involved in it in the future.
The key findings of the review and the recommendations will be published later this year, but the full review will contain confidential and sensitive information and will be a private report for the Commissioner.
The Commissioner said: “We are not afraid to learn how we can do these things better, and that’s why I’ve announced today’s review in to how we have conducted investigations in to non-recent sexual allegations involving public figures.
“I am pleased that Sir Richard brings an independent legal mind to advise us whether we can provide a better balance between our duty to investigate and the interests of suspects, complainants and victims.”
Sir Richard will agree in advance with the MPS which investigations will be part of his review.
The Commissioner is clear that the MPS wants the benefit of Sir Richard’s expertise and advice on handling investigations into non-recent allegations where the suspects are publicly identified – including those that have recently been in the public eye. This will include Operation Midland.
The Hon. Lowell Goddard, who is chairing the Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse, has been notified of the review.
The Commissioner added: “The review will focus on police procedures and will not reach judgments on the evidence. That is for the Public Inquiry to do, should they wish to examine any of the investigations covered by Sir Richard. A full copy of the review will be given to the Public Inquiry.”
Sir Richard Henriques conducted the independent review relating to the Lord Janner case.