Former senior MPS officer involved in VIP sex abuse inquiry has case to answer for gross misconduct, says IOPC

A former senior Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) officer involved in an investigation into false VIP sex abuse allegations has a case to answer for gross misconduct, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has decided.

May 25, 2023
By Paul Jacques

The IOPC said the officer, who it has not named, “may have breached police professional standards of behaviour relating to honesty and integrity”.

It follows an investigation into complaints about the MPS’s failure to investigate two individuals who were said to have made false allegations

The IOPC said the individuals, known as Witness A and Witness B, are alleged to have made false accusations about a number of high-profile people during Operation Midland, an MPS investigation into allegations of non-recent sexual abuse.

Operation Midland  was largely based on claims made by Carl Beech, who was jailed in 2019 for making false allegations.

Beech was sentenced to 18 years in prison for 12 charges of perverting the course of justice, one of fraud, and for several child sexual offences.

He was only brought to justice after a review by retired High Court judge Sir Richard Henriques recommended he be investigated by another police force.

Sir Richard reviewed Operation Midland in 2016 and made a number of recommendations, including that offences of attempting to pervert the course of justice should be considered against Witnesses A and B and that any investigation should be carried out by another force.

The IOPC said its investigation began in March 2022 following two complaints by individuals who were adversely affected by Witness A and B’s allegations.

IOPC Director Amanda Rowe said: “We decided the former senior officer may have breached police professional standards of behaviour relating to honesty and integrity regarding comments made to the media about Operation Midland in March 2016 and comments subsequently made to Sir Richard Henriques in August 2016.

“We also found that by failing to follow Sir Richard’s recommendation when it was made in 2016, and after it was again brought to the force’s attention following complaints in 2017 and 2020, the service provided by the Met was unacceptable and we have upheld these complaints.

“The force conducted several reviews which all concluded no investigation was needed.

“We found those reviews were flawed, did not consider all of the evidence and their rationales were not sound. We have also recommended the Met apologise to the individuals affected.”

Given the officer retired more than 12 months before its investigation began, the IOPC said it is “obliged under relevant legislation to enter into a consultation period with concerned parties regarding a disciplinary hearing”.

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