Sir Richard Henriques’ was allocated the task of carrying out an independent review into alleged sexual abuse by public figures. His Review largely focussed on Operation Midland and the allegations by the complainant known as “Nick” but the Review also covered other police investigations such as Operation Yew Tree. Sir Richard made 25 separate recommendations which are to be welcomed to ensure fairness to all in the investigative process and the administration of justice. These recommendations largely reflect those Paul Gambaccini and I made to the Home Affairs Select Committee back in March 2015. They include:
- The use of the term complainants and not victims during the investigative and judicial process
- The need for the police to investigate allegations impartially, objectively and with an open mind
- Anonymity for suspects pre charge and sanctions if this is breached
- A thorough investigation before an interview under caution or a search of premises
- Investigations without an arrest unless arrest is necessary
- Time limits on bail and suspects to be informed of progress
- Communication with suspects before communication with the media
- When no further action is taken, more details to be given to the suspect and limited information to be provided to the media.
The HAC recommendations are here.
The Commissioner and the CPS will now need to ensure that these Recommendations are acted on and the police culture to arrest first, investigate later is consigned to the annals of history.