It now transpires following a FOI disclosure, that contrary to the findings of Essex Police, the terms of reference for Operation Flamborough that followed child abuse crimes at Stanbridge Earls School, were established (as was always claimed by campaigners fighting for justice) to protect the reputation of Hampshire Police and Hampshire County Council and NOT the victims of abuse.
Assistant Chief Constable Sara Glen reported directly to the former Hampshire Chief Constable Andy Marsh. Andy Marsh is now the Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset Constabulary where his wife, Nikki Watson, is the Assistant Chief Constable.
If your desired outcome is to protect reputation, could it be the case that one conveniently hides the truth and instead engage in establishment cover ups?
After all, none of us could believe the Lord Janner, Rotheram and Rochdale cases where it emerged that child protection agencies, including the Police and local authorities, had concealed the sexual abuse of vulnerable girls.
1. Representatives of the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, Simon Hayes
2. Representatives of the Police Federation
3. Hampshire Constabulary Professional Standards
4. The IAG
5. Hampshire County Council
6. Public Relations Officers from Hampshire Constabulary, and
7. Public Relations Officers for Hampshire County Council
…”oversaw” a supposed criminal investigation.
In other words these were civil servants and public servants (along with members of the public) reporting to elected politicians such as Cllr Roy Perry, Leader of Hampshire County Council and father of Caroline Nokes MP. Government Ministers also had oversight of a criminal investigation. Is that lawful?
Surely this in the very least suggests political interference?
It is also worrying to me, that parties embroiled in the Police “Gold Group”, who had no right to know the victims, or the alleged abusers, identities or their complaints, were given access to information by Hampshire Police, without these people’s knowledge or consent.
We know this from comments made in a public meeting in 2014 when a “member of the public” who claimed to be a “neutral observer”, turned out to be part of this Gold Group and who had been sent to that public meeting by the PCC Simon Hayes to agitate and attack me. He made comments at that public meeting that could only have come from these Gold Group meetings.
Of course there is a duty to protect children by sharing information but only when it is appropriate. Equally there is also a duty of confidentiality and privacy as enshrined in common law and Acts of Parliament. Above all the Police have a duty to follow the truth where ever it may lead even if it damages the establishment’s reputation and ends politicians careers as a consequence. The protection of the police’s reputation should play no role when investigating crime.
Sadly though, it appears to be far more important to Hampshire Police and Hampshire politicians to protect their reputations than to protect vulnerable children and convict child abusers. One can only wonder why.