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Paedophile Ring: More Questions Than Answers

Published March 21, 2015 by JS2

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The investigation of alleged corruption in the Metropolitan Police relating to child sex offences from the 1970s to the 2000s leaves a lot to be desired, writes Steven Walker


The news that the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is investigating 14 separate referrals of alleged corruption in the Metropolitan Police relating to child sex offences from the 1970s to the 2000s might at first glance be seen as hopeful, especially to survivors of child sexual abuse who are pinning their hopes on receiving justice.

But the Home Secretary’s qualified answer to a question put to her by the home affairs select committee regarding immunity for police officers from prosecution under the Official Secrets Act gave the game away.

Her lack of certainty is guaranteed to stop any police officer coming forward with relevant information for the IPCC.

This latest twist in the long-running scandal of an Establishment cover-up of historic sexual abuse against vulnerable children could have another consequence. The long-delayed Goddard inquiry has just got under way after two false starts with inquiry heads acknowledged as too close to the Establishment and unable to secure the confidence of sexual abuse survivors.

But with these twin investigations pursuing parallel courses, covering much of the same ground and focussing on the activities of notorious paedophile Cyril Smith and other MPs, there is a danger of confusion and potential legal conundrums. This could lead to witnesses being called by both inquiries and evidence compromised.

The result could be a legal nightmare leading to stalemate and further delay at best. All of which will suit the Establishment which on past record is very adept at concealing truth, losing evidence and making sure the tracks of abusers are completely covered.

Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg still refuses to order a full-scale investigation into which senior Liberal Party figures knew all about Cyril Smith and his prolific paedophile activity.

Conservatives Edwina Currie, Gyles Brandreth and Rod Richards have previously made damning statements of how well known in Westminster circles it was that MP Peter Morrison was a dangerous paedophile and yet his career was unaffected as he rose to be deputy chairman of the Conservative Party. He was Margaret Thatcher’s parliamentary private secretary in 1990 and her campaign manager that same year despite this knowledge having been around for many years.

Tim Fortescue, Edward Heath’s Chief Whip from 1970-73, made public on Michael Cockerell’s BBC documentary in 1995 Westminster’s Secret Service that there was a tried and tested method for cover-ups named the dirt book system.

Talking about the role of the chief whip, Fortescue said: “For anyone with any sense who was in trouble would come to the whips and tell them the truth … a scandal involving small boys … we would do everything we can because we would store up brownie points and if I mean, that sounds a pretty, pretty nasty reason, but it’s one of the reasons because if we could get a chap out of trouble then, he will do as we ask forever more.”

Just after announcing, 18 months ago, that the Metropolitan Police were about to arrest a former Tory Cabinet minister,

Commander Peter Spindler, who had been leading the police criminal investigation into organised paedophiles sexually abusing young children from a council children’s home in Richmond upon Thames, was taken off the investigation and moved sideways to another job.

The suggestion is that powerful figures had complained about Spindler’s work in pursuing three major paedophile investigations and he had to be stopped.

More evidence of an Establishment cover-up has emerged as another former local newspaper executive has now claimed that he too was issued with an official warning against reporting on an exclusive paedophile ring, when he was interviewed by an officer working for Operation Fernbridge, the major criminal investigation examining very specific claims of sexual abuse and grooming of children.

Hilton Tims told a Fernbridge detective that his paper, the Surrey Comet, was issued with a D notice in 1984 — an official warning not to publish intelligence that might damage national security — when he sought to report on a police investigation into the notorious Elm Guest House. This is the guest house where Cyril Smith MP and other Establishment figures preyed upon vulnerable children taken there from a nearby children’s home.

Tims joins a list of newspaper editors who have gone on record to testify that similar gagging action took place around the same time. They include Don Hale, former editor of the Bury Messenger who recalled that Special Branch officers seized a paedophile dossier naming Establishment figures drawn up by Labour peer Barbara Castle in the 1980s.

Officers citing “national security” confiscated the file which listed 16 MPs along with other local VIPs.

The dossier was collated with help from concerned social workers by the former Labour MP for Blackburn who personally handed it to him. As well as key members of both the Commons and Lords, the dossier named 30 prominent businessmen, public school teachers, scoutmasters and police officers who had links to the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE), a group dedicated to legalising sex with young children.

Under the 30-year secrecy rule the National Archives has just released a file prepared for Thatcher which details the paedophile activities of Sir Peter Hayman, a former career diplomat and head of MI6. He was named by Geoffrey Dickens MP in the House of Commons when his name along with many other MPs and government officials, was discovered in a dossier Dickens had collated.

This file is the first clear evidence that Thatcher herself was part of the cover-up.

The director of public prosecutions at the time did nothing either despite correspondence within the dossier showing Hayman’s link to the PIE and evidence of his interest in the sexual torture of young children.

This lack of action mirrored those of the then home secretary Leon Brittan who did nothing and allowed the dossier to get lost in the Home Office.

The historic child sexual abuse scandal continues as the Establishment settle down for the longterm, safe in the knowledge that their sordid secrets are safe from scrutiny, while witnesses are deterred from giving evidence.

– Steven Walker is a Unicef children’s champion.

New Cyril Smith whitewash: Police clear themselves over 1960s probe into paedophile MP

Published March 18, 2015 by JS2
  • Lancashire Police had been accused of covering up Cyril Smith’s crimes
  • But force bosses face claims of a ‘whitewash’ after it cleared itself of blame
  • They found ‘no evidence’ attempts to bring Smith to justice were blocked 
  • Contradicts claims by retired detective that key evidence was ‘locked away’ and they were silenced 

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A police force accused of covering up Cyril Smith’s crimes faced claims of a ‘whitewash’ last night after it cleared itself of blame.

Lancashire Police chiefs declared they found ‘absolutely no evidence’ that attempts to bring the paedophile Liberal MP to justice were blocked.

The internal inquiry contradicts claims by retired detectives that key evidence was ‘locked away’ and they were silenced.

Labour MP Simon Danczuk, whose book about Smith’s sordid double life sparked the investigation, last night accused the force of a whitewash.

He said there is a ‘mountain of evidence’ that Smith was a paedophile and serious failings had allowed him to ‘get away with his crimes for years’.

‘It is very disappointing that Lancashire Police are unable to accept this and are now trying to rubbish the claims of their own former officers,’ Mr Danczuk added.

‘This shows that we haven’t learned lessons from the past and a culture of cover-up and denial still persists.’

The outcome of the inquiry will raise questions over whether it is appropriate for police to investigate themselves in such cases.

Yesterday, the independent police watchdog revealed it is overseeing 14 claims of cover-ups and corruption by Scotland Yard in historic sex abuse cases. The London force will also investigate itself.

MPs want Prime Minister David Cameron to guarantee police whistleblowers will not be prosecuted under the Official Secrets Act if they come forward.

They said ex-officers, public officials and spies may hold vital information that could open up suspected powerful networks that protected abusers.

Home Secretary Theresa May yesterday insisted spies and police will not face prosecution under the Official Secrets Act if they give evidence to the police or the Home Office’s abuse inquiry.

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She has invited Justice Goddard, who is leading the inquiry, to seek confirmation from the Attorney General that no charges would be brought.

However, when pressed by the Home Affairs Committee, Mrs May declined to extend the protection to whistleblowers who speak to the media or elsewhere in public.

Police suspect Smith’s activities as a paedophile could be key to unlocking claims of an Establishment child sex ring. The politician abused children at care homes and schools in Rochdale and Manchester.

He was also seen at the notorious Elm Guest House, in Barnes, south-west London, where appalling crimes are said to have taken place involving young boys.

Jack Tasker, a former Lancashire detective, who led one of three investigations into Smith, said it was stopped because it could have led to the ‘fall of the Government’.

He claims his 1969 inquiry into abuse at Cambridge House care home was stalled by Special Branch officers who confiscated his notes and ordered him to forget the matter.

‘We were under the impression then that they’d take the investigation over … but I never heard any more about it,’ he told Sky News. He added: ‘Other people were rather worried that if Cyril Smith went before a court, he would open his mouth.’

Another ex-officer, Tony Robinson, said he had advised Lancashire Police to look at the case file he found locked in a Special Branch safe in the 1970s.

‘It doesn’t surprise me at all that they’ve dismissed the claims,’ he said. ‘It’s an easy way out.’

A Lancashire Police spokesman said it had referred the matter to the Independent Police Complaints Commission which ‘determined that a local investigation be carried out’.

He added that the Constabulary’s Professional Standards Department found ‘absolutely no evidence to substantiate any of the claims’.

Chris Greenwood & Jaya Narain

Westminster paedophile scandal: The evil sex dungeon in Lambeth Town Hall basement

Published March 17, 2015 by JS2

bulic-forsythe

Bulic Forsythe was allegedly killed as a part of a cover up to the abuse against women and children at

Lambeth Council

Senior council officials apparently violently raped and abused women and children in a London council basement during the 1990s, an explosive new report has revealed.

Until now allegations of a paedophile ring operating at Lambeth Council have never been made public.

According to a report, obtained exclusively by Sky News, council figures used the basement of Lambeth’s housing headquarters to carry out the horrific abuse on women, children and even animals “without fear of interruption by other staff”.

Among the allegations includes a female member of staff who described being raped “of horrendous proportions” – suffering serious injuries still one month afterwards. The broadcaster also reported she was raped alongside children and animals by senior members of the council.

Three male employees, including one in a senior position, were suspended from their jobs in the housing department in light of the findings following an internal investigation. But they were removed on grounds of breaching the authority’s ‘equal opportunities policy’. No criminal investigation was launched at the time despite the claims in the report.

But now the Metropolitan Police are investigating the abuse allegations and the 1993 murder case of Lambeth Council’s housing manager Bulic Forsythe under Operation Trinity – linking it to the Westminster paedophile ring that involves high profile politicians and MPs during the 1970s and 1980s.

It is alleged Forsythe could have been killed as part of a cover up after he was made aware of the abuse and wanted to “spill the beans” after visiting one of the council sites.

In the report, it states he told colleagues that he felt at risk and was trying to move from the housing services. It was also claimed he had clashed with a senior council official who is named in the report as the head of the ring.

The report stated: “The murder of Bulic Forsythe was seen by some witnesses as a possible outcome for anyone who strayed too far in their investigation or for those who asked too many questions.

“The panel heard evidence about Bulic Forsythe whilst he was working in social services visiting Hambrook House and speaking to a colleague and telling her that he was going to ‘spill the beans’. Three days later he was killed.”

According to Sky’s investigation, people who held senior positions at the time of the alleged incidents said “the council had elements of dysfunctionality and was plagued by corruption and fear”.

Forsythe’s daughter Kiddist told the broadcaster: “Some of the stuff that’s in here, [the report], I honestly can’t believe happened. I was very shocked.”

Met Police’s detective inspector Sean Crotty said: “This report provides the context to people who were abused in Lambeth. What we need is for people who were children at the time and who were abused to come forward.”

Lambeth Council said it was supporting the police in its investigation.

A spokesman said: “Lambeth Council is determined to do all that we can to support this renewed push to tackle the issue, and ensure that offenders who had previously escaped justice are now held to account.”

It’s the latest scandal to hit the country amid claims of other paedophile rings involving public figures, which the Home Secretary Theresa May calls are just “the tip of the iceberg”,  shockingly claiming the scale of the abuse was “woven, covertly, into the fabric” of British society.

Lambeth Council Alleged Abuse Findings:

There were two sites on Lambeth council property used to carry out sexual assaults. They were used for this purpose “on many occasions over the years”.

Two private removal firms were “frequently” on site, and were believed to have removed evidence of equipment used during sexual assaults, and washed the area down. One firm had keys to all internal lockers, including a cabinet where evidence in a criminal case was kept and later went missing.

Items handed to police following the rape of a female member of staff by a colleague on council premises included a semen-stained blanket, soiled tissues, cassettes and a penknife.

Bulic Forsythe, a manager in the housing department, told colleagues he was going to “spill the beans” after a visit to one of these sites.

He clashed with an individual who held a senior position and is named in the report as the head of the ring involved in abuse, and then moved from the housing department to social services.

While in social services Bulic told another colleague he believed the individual in housing could still ‘get to him’. After his death in 1993, colleagues reported that a report he had compiled went missing from his office.

Three male employees, including one in a senior position, were suspended from their jobs in the housing department as a result of the investigation.

Despite the findings of rape and sexual assault, and possessing indecent images of children, they were suspended on grounds of a ‘breach of the council’s equal opportunities policy’.

The report recommended a criminal investigation into the allegations of rape, child rape and images of abuse, which the Metropolitan Police confirmed never took place.

More about Westminster Paedophile Ring

International Business Times

Cyril Smith child sex abuse inquiry ‘scrapped after his arrest’

Published March 17, 2015 by JS2

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Claims that police officers were ordered to hand over evidence are ‘very credible and very frightening’

The Metropolitan Police are facing fresh allegations after it was revealed that an undercover police investigation that gathered evidence of child abuse by MP Cyril Smith was scrapped shortly after his arrest.

The Liberal MP, who died in 2010, was arrested for his alleged involvement in sex parties with teenage boys in south London during the 1980s, a former police officer told BBC Newsnight.

During a three-month secret inquiry into a high-profile child sex abuse ring, police collected compelling video evidence of men abusing boys as young as 14, the source said.

Newsnight was also told that police had evidence that a senior member of Britain’s intelligence agencies and two high-ranking police officers took part in the abuse.

The inquiry is reported to have led to a house in Streatham, where Smith and several others were arrested. Newsnight alleges he was released just hours later without charge.

The decision to scrap the inquiry was made by a high-ranking police officer, whom the undercover team had no prior contact with, the source alleges.

“Officers were then ordered to hand over all their evidence – including notebooks and video footage – and were warned to keep quiet about the investigation or face prosecution under the Official Secrets Act,” reports The BBC’s Nick Hopkins.

Former Scotland Yard detective Clive Driscoll has described the claims as “very credible and very frightening”.

“Smith was being protected by some fairly powerful people […] because he knew of other paedophiles in the networks in which he operated,” said Labour MP Simon Danczuk, who has worked to expose Cyril Smith as a prolific paedophile.

This latest revelation comes just hours after the police watchdog announced that it would be beginning an investigation into claims that the Met Police covered up child sex offences because of the involvement of high-level politicians and police officers.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission has described the allegations as “historic, high-level corruption of the most serious nature”.

The police force refused to comment on the recent allegations, but said that it was investigating allegations that police officers “acted inappropriately” in relation to historic child abuse investigations. It urged anyone with information to come forward.

Met Police probed over claims it covered up child sex abuse

16 March

An investigation has begun into claims that the Metropolitan police covered up child sex offences because of the involvement of high level politicians and police officers, the police watchdog has announced.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission is looking into 16 allegations of high-level corruption in the force from the 1970s to 2005.

“These allegations are of historic, high-level corruption of the most serious nature,” said deputy chairman of the IPCC, Sally Green. “Allegations of this nature are of grave concern and I would like to reassure people our commitment to ensuring that the investigations are thorough and robust.

The investigation will look at claims that London’s police force suppressed evidence and hindered or halted investigations because of the involvement of MPs and police officers.

The list of allegations being investigated include claims that:

  • Police officers sexually abused a young boy and then carried out surveillance on him
  • Surveillance of a child abuse ring was shut down because of “high-profile people being involved”
  • A document, which originated from within the Houses of Parliament, was discovered at a paedophile’s address and listed a number of high-level individuals as being involved in a paedophile ring, but no further action was taken.

The Metropolitan police told the BBC that the force had voluntarily referred the cases to the IPCC because it “recognised the severity of the allegations and the importance of understanding whether or not our officers had in the past acted inappropriately”.

It also said that its ongoing investigations and recent convictions have shown that the service is “fully committed” to investigating non-recent allegations of sexual abuse.

The Week

Scotland Yard being investigated over explosive claims it covered up child sexual abuse by senior politicians

Published March 17, 2015 by JS2

The IPCC is to investigate 14 allegations of corruption in the Metropolitan Police concerning establishment child abuse between 1970 and 2005

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Scotland Yard is being investigated over explosive claims it covered up child sexual abuse by senior politicians, the police watchdog revealed today.

They include allegations uncovered by the Daily Mirror that a detective was removed from a paedophile probe in 1998 when he named a minister in Tony Blair’s government as a suspect.

The Lambeth children’s home case tops a list of 14 police corruption claims being probed by the Independent Police Complaints Commission between 1970 and 2005.

Labour MP Tom Watson tonight praised the Daily Mirror and our sister paper the Sunday People for uncovering the scandal.

Mr Watson, who sparked the police investigations by raising concerns about a cover-up of abusers linked to Westminster, said: “This is potentially a very serious milestone in pursuit of justice for survivors of serious sexual crimes.

“For many years they were dismissed as conspiracy theorists and fantasists. Now they are being taken seriously.

“All credit to the Daily Mirror and the Sunday People for digging away at this story for the last two years.”

The anti-corruption probe could see police officers, politicians and civil servants being convicted of perverting the course of justice or misconduct in public office.

It is the largest ever corruption investigation involving allegations the police protected establishment figures.

Among the 14 referrals is a claim that a police surveillance operation of a child abuse ring was shut down because former Liberal MP Cyril Smith was among the suspects.

An investigation into young men being targeted in Dolphin Square, the apartment complex popular with MPs, was also allegedly stopped because officers were “too near prominent people”, the IPCC said.

Praise: Tom Watson MP

Another case involves a Houses of Parliament document found at a paedophile’s home linking a number of MPs and senior police officers to an abuse ring, but no further action was taken.

Officers are also investigating claims that an abuse victim’s account was altered to omit a senior politician’s name, while it is also alleged that no further action was taken into claims of child sex abuse involving a former senior Met Police officer and “further members of the establishment including judges”.

Another is that police officers sexually abused a boy and carried out surveillance on him.

Sarah Green, deputy chair of the IPCC, said: “These allegations are of historic, high level corruption of the most serious nature.

“Allegations of this nature are of grave concern and I would like to reassure people of our absolute commitment to ensuring that the investigations are thorough and robust.”

The People front page from February 3rd

Yvette Cooper, Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary, said: “Child abuse is a horrific crime and the allegations the IPCC is investigating are of the utmost seriousness.

“Given the gravity of the crimes being investigated, it is worrying this is not a fully independent investigation.

“Instead the Met will lead this work with oversight from the IPCC. Surely this should be done by an independent investigator or, at the very least an alternate force.

“For too long the voices of abused children have been ignored and the crimes against them have gone un-investigated.

“In too many cases, people in a position to protect children failed to act and let them down. In the worst cases, there were attempts to undermine or discredit children reporting abuse.

“It is vital this investigation is able to get to the truth of these appalling allegations, root out anyone involved in wrongdoing and pursue criminal proceedings wherever needed.”

GettySimon Danczuk, a British Member of Parliament
No surprise: Simon Danczuk MP believes it’s ‘inevitable’ that a cover up will be unearthed

Campaigning MP Simon Danczuk said: “I’m not surprised that the IPCC has taken the decision to investigate this.

“Really this is a significant development in what has been the whole story around the historic child sex abuse around Westminster.

“If what I’ve been told over the last couple of years is true then it does indeed involve senior politicians.

“I think we are on the cusp of finding out exactly what went on in the 70s and 1980s and I’m sorry to say that I think it will be shown that senior politicians were involved in abuse and there was a cover-up.

“I think that’s inevitable now.”

How the Mirror and People have led the way

Cyril Smith

Cyril Smith
Allegations: Former Lib Dem MP Cyril Smith

An undercover police operation that had gathered evidence of child abuse by Cyril Smith was scrapped shortly after detectives moved in to make arrests, BBC Newsnight has reported.

Detectives investigating sex parties involving boys in the 1980s allegedly took the Liberal MP to a police station, but released him within hours.

Officers were then ordered to hand over all the evidence and warned to keep quiet or face prosecution under the Official Secrets Act.

The squad suspected boys from care homes were being provided “to order” for sex.

Former Blair Minister

BBCClive Driscoll
Experienced: But Met detective Clive Driscoll was ordered off the investigation into allegations about one of Tony Blair’s Ministers

The Daily Mirror has revealed how one of Tony Blair’s ministers was among a group of men suspected of sexually abusing children at a home run by a convicted paedophile.

The police probe was halted soon after an ex-social services boss told police of the politician’s alleged visits in the early 1980s.

Two former Lambeth social services employees involved in the case suspect a cover-up because experienced detective Clive Driscoll was removed from the investigation and given other duties in 1998.

Dolphin Square

PAGeneral view of Dolphin Square in Pimlico, London
Allegations: The Dolphin Square apartment complex in Pimlico, London

Allegation of child sex abuse by MPs and other VIPs at luxury flats in the shadow of Westminster were revealed by the Sunday People.

Detectives are probing chilling claims of “abuse parties” at Dolphin Square, where many MPs had homes. They are also examining allegations that children were murdered by the abuse ring.

The Met launched the fresh investigation after the Sunday People revealed the accounts of two men who said they were abused in the flats more than 30 years ago.

Leon Brittan

Leon Brittan MP
Allegations: Former Conservative Home Secretary Leon Brittan

An alleged victim of a Westminster paedophile ring told police Leon Brittan had abused him more than a dozen times.

The witness, known as Nick, said he also saw most of his friends molested by the former Home Secretary, who died in January, aged 75.

Nick identified Mr Brittan as being present at VIP abuse parties when he spoke to the investigative website Exaro.

Asked how he knew who he was, Nick said: “He told me. Not his full name. He told me it was Leon.” As he got older, he had realised it was Brittan.

The 14 referrals being investigated by the IPCC are allegations that:

  • There was a potential cover up around failures to properly investigate child sex abuse offences in south London and further information about criminal allegations against a politician being dropped.
  • An investigation involving a proactive operation targeting young men in Dolphin Square was stopped because officers were too near prominent people.
  • A document was found at an address of a paedophile that originated from the Houses of Parliament listing a number of highly prominent individuals (MPs and senior police officers) as being involved in a paedophile ring and no further action was taken.
  • An account provided by an abuse victim had been altered to omit the name of a senior politician.
  • An investigation into a paedophile ring, in which a number of people were convicted, did not take action in relation to other more prominent individuals.
  • A politician had spoken with a senior Met Police officer and demanded no action was taken regarding a paedophile ring and boys being procured and supplied to prominent persons in Westminster in the 1970s.
  • In the late 1970s a surveillance operation that gathered intelligence on a politician being involved in paedophile activities was closed down by a senior Met Police officer.
  • A dossier of allegations against senior figures and politicians involved in child abuse were taken by Special Branch officers.
  • A surveillance operation of a child abuse ring was subsequently shut down due to high profile people being involved.
  • Child sex abuse against a senior politician and a subsequent cover-up of his crimes.
  • During a sexual abuse investigation a senior officer instructed the investigation be halted and that that order had come from ‘up high’ in the Met.
  • A conspiracy within the Met to prevent the prosecution of a politician suspected of offences.
  • No further action was taken following allegations against a former senior Met Police officer regarding child sex abuse and that further members of the establishment including judges were involved
  • Police officers sexually abused a boy and carried out surveillance on him. There are further allegations of financial corruption in a London borough police force.

by Tom Pettifor

Britain’s biggest police force has solved just 14% of paedophile crimes in the last four years

Published February 15, 2015 by JS2

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  • Figures show Met Police told of 7,205 serious sex attacks on under-16s
  • But only 989 of the cases, which include rapes, led to criminal charges
  • NSPCC: Some cases collapse when victims do not have enough support
  • Government introduced new guidelines in 2013 to help young victims 

Fewer than one in seven child sex abuse cases probed by Britain’s largest police force have led to criminal charges, figures have revealed.

Scotland Yard investigated 7,205 reports of serious attacks on under-16s between 2010 and October last year – just 989 of which (14 per cent) ended with a person being prosecuted.

Fewer offenders still were convicted after prosecutors, who were handed details by London’s Metropolitan Police, tested cases against them through the courts.

The figures, obtained by Mike Sullivan for the Sun on Sunday, show police success rates lagging despite a major crackdown on child sex abuse.

The Met reportedly brought in up to 100 extra officers in 2013 to tackle sex abuse cases including child exploitation and the threat of grooming gangs.

The shake-up was an attempt to improve the Met’s controversial Operation Sapphire rape unit after it was accused of failings in previous years.

An IPCC report in 2013 found ‘under-performing and over-stretched’ officers in Southwark, south London, had encourage adult victims to retract their allegations to boost detection rates.

Today’s figures are said to include rape, gang rape, child trafficking and sexual assault.

Last year the NSPCC warned child rape rates were even worse than official figures suggest because many cases are never reported to the authorities.

‘Not all cases come to the attention of the police and, even if they do, they may decide it is not in the best interests of the child to investigate an incident as a criminal offence,’ a spokesman said.

The charity previously said some child sex abuse cases were collapsing because children were being denied the support they needed to give evidence in court.

Claiming fewer than a quarter of 23,000 offences in 2012 ended in a prosecution, the charity said all children giving evidence should have an intermediary to help deal with ‘hostile’ questioning.

Responding to the call, the government issued new guidelines saying child sex abuse cases should only be dealt with by specialist prosecutors who ignore ‘myths, stereotypes and prejudices’.

Victims must also be offered ‘appropriate support’ such as counselling and criminal cases should be heard in court with as few delays as possible, the guidelines added.

The Metropolitan Police did not immediately return requests for comment on today’s figures.

Dan Bloom

Metropolitan Police detective’s fears of Westminster paedophile ‘cover-up’

Published November 20, 2014 by JS2

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Jackie Malton says investigation into Vishal Mehrotra’s death in 1981 could have been compromised by the ‘power of politicians’ at the time

A detective who investigated the murder of a young boy more than 30 years ago has voiced fears of a “cover-up” following claims that the child died at the hands of aWestminster paedophile ring.

Jackie Malton, the inspiration behind Dame Helen Mirren’s character in the ITV series Prime Suspect, said the investigation into Vishal Mehrotra’s death in 1981 could have been compromised by the “power of politicians” at the time.

“During my time in the police there was a feeling of misuse of power,” she told The Telegraph. “There were a lot of powerful people saying, ‘Don’t you know who I am?’”

Now retired from Scotland Yard, Miss Malton was a detective sergeant when she worked on the case, which has never been solved.

Vishal, nine, was abducted as he walked home to Putney, south-west London, after watching the marriage procession of the Prince and Princess of Wales. He disappeared less than a mile away from the notorious Elm Guest House in Barnes. His bones were found in a Sussex field six months later. Last week, the Metropolitan Police announced it was investigating possible murders linked to the guesthouse.

The new inquiry was opened when an alleged victim came forward claiming to have witnessed three boys being killed, including one allegedly strangled by a Conservative MP during a depraved sex game.

Earlier this week, Vishal’s father, Vishambar Mehrotra, a retired magistrate, claimed he had recorded a mystery caller saying his son might have been taken to the Elm Guest House. He took the recording to police at the time but claimed they refused to investigate an allegation implicating “judges and politicians”.

Mr Mehrotra said it had been a huge ‘cover-up’.

Miss Malton, now aged 63 and living in Surrey, worked on Vishal’s disappearance for about four months in 1981 before being seconded to another investigation, weeks before his father’s tape was handed in. She said the culture of policing at the time meant it was possible the recording was ignored and the murder covered up due to the alleged involvement of senior figures at Westminster.

“There is clear evidence that something was happening at that guesthouse,” she said. “If nothing has been done about it in retrospect, then Mr Mehrotra is right. Either the police disbelieved it, or they covered it up one way or another.

“I do remember that the officers were highly passionate about the Mehrotra case, but for some reason we never managed to get anywhere.”

Scotland Yard opened Operation Fairbank two years ago to look into suggestions that high-profile political figures had been involved in a VIP paedophile ring and subsequent cover up.

Officers have set up a new strand of the inquiry, Operation Midland, after being passed information about the three alleged murders connected to the group.

Miss Malton, who retired from Scotland Yard as a detective chief inspector in 1997, was the model for Jane Tennison, Dame Helen Mirren’s character in Prime Suspect. She was one of just four female DCIs in her Hammersmith-based squad when Linda La Plante worked with her for six months while researching her police series about a woman detective.

Working now as a full-time TV technical adviser and addiction counsellor, she claimed police officers during the 1980s often felt pressure from above when dealing with politically sensitive cases.

“Some inquiries would come to an end when someone senior said, ‘That’s enough’,” she said. “I remember a case where there was an MP accused of cottaging and it all kind of disappeared.”

Miss Malton said she had no specific evidence that officers in the Mehrotra case were leant on by politicians to drop their inquiries, and she never worked on the investigation into the Elm Guest House. But she said the influence of Westminster was felt throughout Scotland Yard during the 1980s.

“There was also a strong sense of the power of Parliament and of politicians. It was very much a case of ‘do as you are told’, she claimed. “There was certainly a culture of disbelief among the officers, and that often didn’t help to get to the truth. But the politicians were very much in power, and the police officers’ voices could often not be heard. It’s very different now. Back then, people were nowhere near as accountable for their actions.”

Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, described the allegations as “grotesque” and echoed Mr Mehrotra’s calls for a proper investigation.

Simon Danczuk, the MP whose book exposed the former MP Cyril Smith as a serial abuser of boys, said he may raise the issue in the Commons today.

Mr Mehrotra on Wednesday said he had still not been contacted by officers investigating the alleged murders.

Bill Gardner