Met Commissioner Cressida Dick cleared over paedophile ring inquiry

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Cressida Dick, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, attends an event to mark the anniversary of the attack on London Bridge,Image source, Reuters
Image caption,
Dame Cressida Dick was supervising the police officer who investigated the fantasist's claims

The chief of London's police has been cleared over her handling of an investigation into false claims of a VIP paedophile ring.

The police watchdog said Met Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick did not have a case to answer to over claims she misled the public.

Criminal or disciplinary hearings were not justified, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said.

The police probe was looking into claims made by fantasist Carl Beech.

Launched in 2014, Operation Midland saw dawn raids on the homes of D-Day veteran Lord Bramall, the late Lord (Leon) Brittan and former MP Harvey Proctor, following a series of allegations made by Beech that turned out to be lies.

He claimed that he and other boys were raped and tortured in the 1970s and 1980s and that one young boy was even murdered by members of a VIP paedophile ring.

Beech is now serving an 18-year prison sentence for 12 counts of perverting the course of justice and one count of fraud.

'Not fit'

The Metropolitan Police was heavily criticised in an independent review of the case by former High Court judge Sir Richard Henriques.

But the IOPC said it had found no evidence of misconduct or criminality by the officers, including Dame Cressida, during the operation.

"We do not consider the allegation that the Commissioner deliberately misled the public regarding her role in Operation Midland requires investigation," it said.

Mr Proctor, who is to receive £500,000 in compensation from the force, hit out at the IOPC's decision, saying this "provides even more substantial evidence that the IOPC is not fit for purpose" and the "currently flawed system" should be replaced to be "truly independent".

Scotland Yard has since referred itself again to the IOPC over complaints officers had failed to fully investigate two other men for lying about being abused as children.

The watchdog added the Met had made "significant changes" since the Henriques' review.

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