If you fear Western Civilisation is falling apart and that all our institutions have been corrupted beyond measure by fashionable leftist idiocies and plain dumbed-down incompetence, then really, really don’t read the report published today by London’s Metropolitan Police.
It’s called the Henriques Report, after Sir Richard Henriques, the retired judge who wrote it in 2016. Up until now, it has been kept partially secret — via heavy redactions — and you can well see why our corrupt, failing, self-serving Establishment has been so reluctant to publish it, the police especially.
It is, quite likely, the most shaming, damning, embarrassing indictment of police incompetence and stupidity since Sir Robert Peel founded the Metropolitan Police over two centuries ago.
To appreciate how embarrassing, here’s a thought experiment. Suppose a random guy were to claim to the FBI that he had been sexually abused by a secret, murderous ring of supposed high-level paedophiles including the late President Ford, General Petraeus, Rush Limbaugh, Richard Simmons, John Brennan and George Foreman, how do you think they’d respond?
Yes, I know the FBI has problems of its own, but I think pretty soon that they would form the impression that the guy making these ludicrous claims was a crackpot.
They would conduct the interviews with due scepticism; they would investigate his claims and see whether there was any evidence whatsoever to corroborate them. And in the absence of this evidence they would tell the nutjob where to go. Or possibly prosecute him for wasting police time.
Not so the British police. Presented with a similar lunatic paedophile ring scenario to the one I’ve just outlined above, they decided to ‘believe the victim’ by default and squander £2.5 million investigating — or rather not investigating — allegations so ridiculous that even an amoeba with learning difficulties would laugh them out of court.
The protagonists in this high level Paedo Ring of Doom scenario according to the complainant — a chap named Carl Beech — included the following: Field Marshal Lord Bramall, a former head of the Army who was wounded on D-Day; Harvey Proctor, a mild-mannered, gay former MP; Paul Gambaccini, a DJ; Leon Brittan, a former Home Secretary; Edward Heath, formerly a Prime Minister; and the former heads of MI5 and MI6.
Together, apparently, this cabal had met to torture and sexually abuse Carl on a regular basis. On one occasion, they presented Carl and three other boys with a terrible dilemma: ‘We were told that one of us was going to die and we had to decide which one.’ They then – allegedly – beat one of the other boys to death. Proctor, so Beech told police, was the most sadistic. On another occasion he tried to chop off Beech’s testicles with a pair of scissors, only to be dissuaded by former Prime Minister Ted Heath.
Does any of this sound remotely plausible?
The police decided it was, one senior officer going so far as to declare at a press conference that Beech’s evidence was ‘credible and true.’
Some junior officers expressed doubts. One said it all sounded a bit like something from the BBC spy series Spooks. But the senior echelons of the police, including the chiefs of more than one constabulary, were thoroughly convinced that if a random stranger claims a backbench MP once tried to chop off his balls with a pair of scissors only to prevented at the last minute by the Prime Minister while various senior army officers looked on then the balance of probability is that this is what happened.
As a result all the famous names traduced by Carl Beech — those that weren’t fortunate enough to have died beforehand — had their reputations dragged through the mud, their livelihoods ruined, their families traumatised, their time and money squandered in police interviews and legal costs. So now having forked out £2.5 million on an investigation which should have been squashed before it began, the taxpayer will soon be on the hook for yet more millions of pounds in the compensation which — quite rightly — is going to be paid out by the police to the blameless victims of their fatuous witch-hunt.
But that is by no means the worst thing about this dismal affair.
The worst thing about it is that not one of the police officers involved in this disgraceful — and totally avoidable — cock-up has been formally admonished, let alone punished. Some, like the current head of the Metropolitan Police Cressida Dick have been promoted; one — Sir Bernard Hogan Howe — has been elevated to the House of Lords; some, such as Det Supt Kenny “Credible and True” McDonald have retired in the extremely generous pension that is the senior policeman’s lot.
And the same goes for all the other individuals and institutions who promoted Carl Beech as a credible witness. These include: Labour MP — and would-be party leader — Tom Watson, whose prurient obsession with the case and whose constant needling of the police, was one of the reasons the police pressed so hard with their investigation; the BBC, which featured Beech in silhouette profile as the lead slot on one of its news bulletins, lending false credibility to his claims in the early stages of the investigation; and leftist, self-hating-public-schoolboy blowhard James O’Brien, a Social Justice Warrior shock jock who used his LBC radio show to promote Beech’s claims on several occasions.
All the problems that led to this hounding of innocents by the authorities, this scandalous waste of public money, this betrayal of the justice system are still in place.
The system is still very much broken and unless radical action is taken to fix it little is likely to change.
This is what is perhaps most shocking about the Henriques Report: not so much its description of what happened so much as its explanation of how and why it happened.
Essentially, the police has been emasculated, corrupted, destroyed by political correctness.
Henriques notes, for example, that for some time — especially with regard to sexual offences — the police has been operating an “always believe the victim” policy.
Astonishingly, this policy came from the then-Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer, now a prominent Labour MP and a senior player in the left-liberal Establishment.
In a March 2013 paper titled ‘The Criminal Justice Response to Child Sexual Abuse: Time for a National Consensus’ Starmer wrote:
“If the yardstick traditionally used by prosecutors for evaluating the credibility of a victim in other cases were used without adaptation in cases of sexual exploitation, the outcome would potentially be a category of vulnerable victims left unprotected by the criminal law.”
A year later, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary responded with a recommendation that: ‘The presumption that the victim should always be believed should be institutionalised.’
The reason I use the word ‘astonishingly’ with reference to this ‘always believe the victim’ policy is that it runs roughshod over perhaps the most fundamental of principles in English Common Law: the presumption of innocence. So here we have a left-liberal Director of Public Prosecutions effectively prejudging all sexual abuse trials by designating anyone who goes to the police and claims to have been sexually abused a “victim” and not simply a “complainant.”
Henriques spells out his reservations:
“I have a clear and concluded view. All ‘complainants’ are not ‘victims’. Some complaints are false and thus those ‘complainants’ are not ‘victims'”
He goes on:
“Since the investigative process is similarly engaged in ascertaining facts which will, if proven, establish guilt, the use of the word ‘victim’ at the commencement of an investigation is simply inaccurate and should cease.”
How difficult can this be – even for non-lawyers – to understand?
We all know that people lie. This is certainly true in lots of alleged rape and sexual abuse cases: some complainants use them as a means of revenge; some, perhaps, to cover up their embarrassment over an infidelity or over regret sex; some because they are mentally disturbed; some because they want to get on the compensation bandwagon.
“Always believe the victim,” it ought to be obvious to anyone with even half a brain, is an open invitation to the Carl Beeches of this world to go to the police with all manner of elaborate fantasies and — as in Carl Beech’s case — to be rewarded with compensation, media attention and attempted prosecutions.
But here’s where it gets really worrisome. What’s clear from Henriques’s report that the kind of politically correct thinking that led to Starmer’s outrageous directive is institutionalised across the police — certainly at senior level. Common Purpose — the insidious social justice organisation that runs PC indoctrination courses for public servants — has no doubt played a significant part in this. But it would probably have happened anyway because, inevitably once institutions like the police have been co-opted at senior level by Social Justice Warriors, Social Justice Warrior types end up being the only ones who are promoted while more sensible, old school coppers simply retire in disgust rather than serve in a police force they no longer recognise.
Henriques mentions one character called Chief Constable Simon Bailey, author of the Hydrant guidance (for police) on the pursuit of sex cases, who fiercely resisted Henriques criticisms of this system.
Here is Bailey spouting all the PC guff you’d expect a high-ranking police officer to spout, abundant with sociological drivel:
‘If we don’t acknowledge a victim as such, it reinforces a system based on distrust and disbelief. The police service is the conduit that links the victim to the rest of the criminal justice system; there is a need to develop a relationship and rapport with a victim (particularly in challenging and complex cases) in order to achieve the best evidence possible. Police officers and police staff investigators through their roles are required to deal with the emotional turmoil often presented by a victim and to determine what is relevant to the complaint that has been made. The term “victim” features in important legislation, statutory guidance, the policies of the police and Crown Prosecution Service. To remove this and replace it with the word ‘complainant’ will have a significant detrimental effect on the trust victims now have in the authorities and fundamentally damage the efforts of many organisations re-built over the years’.
Later, Henriques quotes Bailey as claiming – in defence of his position – that ‘only 0.1 per cent of all complaints were false and thus any inaccuracy in the use of the word ‘victim’ is so minimal that it can be disregarded.’
Chief Constable Simon Bailey is currently still head of Norfolk Constabulary. He is the very type of the cod-sociology-drenched, achingly politically correct officer which rises to the top of the police – largely explaining why the police are currently in such a mess.
Really, it almost beggars belief that the Carl Beech case proceeded as far and expensively as it did, given the nature of his allegations and the utter lack of evidence supporting them.
Yet this is what has happened: all that money wasted; all those innocent lives ruined by the very institution – the police – which perhaps more than any other has a moral duty to be fair, thorough and to act in the public interest.
None of which the police currently does.
Henriques cites, for example, the dozens of false prosecutions for rape brought against perfectly innocent men by a Crown Prosecution Service determined — for politically correct reasons — to be seen to be taking women’s claims more seriously. The police, we know, helpfully responded to this pressure in some cases by deliberately withholding key evidence that would have got the defendants immediately off the hook.
He doesn’t — though of course he could have done, had he had space — cite the police’s lamentable failure over a period of several decades to stop the mass rape of thousands of white and Sikh, often underage girls by organised Muslim rape gangs. One reason for this, we know from subsequent inquiries, is that the police were more concerned about not appearing ‘racist’ or ‘Islamophobic’ than they were about stopping little girls from being groomed, drugged, raped, and sometimes killed by much older men.
The problem with the Carl Beech affair isn’t that it’s a rare aberration but that it’s absolutely emblematic of the way the British police now operates. The police has been infected by the same identity politics driven PC espoused on the radio by James O’Brien, in Parliament by Tom Watson (indeed by the entirety of the Labour opposition and quite a few Tories too), in the judiciary by that monstrously biased creation of Tony Blair’s, the Supreme Court, in academe by virtually every university professor you could name.
And so far, despite the efforts of lonely truth-tellers like Sir Richard Henriques, absolutely nothing has been done to stop it.
Britain’s police – like so many institutions colonised by the parasite wasps of political correctness – is a national embarrassment.
A bit of light tinkering is simply not enough: it needs root and branch reform; it needs heads to roll; it needs the system to be changed and its priorities realigned with those of the public it is supposed to serve.
Are you listening Home Secretary Priti Patel? You get it. I know you get it. But do you have the balls to deal with it?