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Planned publication of the Sir Richard Henriques' Independent Review

News   •   Oct 01, 2019 17:58 BST

The Metropolitan Police Service intends to publish Sir Richard Henriques' Independent Review of the Met’s handling of non-recent sexual offence investigations alleged against persons of public prominence on Friday, 4 October. 

The sections of the report that will be published are chapters one, two and three. 

- Chapter One has previously been published in a redacted form, and the new publication removes the vast majority of those redactions. 

- Chapter Two is specifically focused on Operation Midland (allegations from Carl Beech) and the Met is taking the highly unusual step of publishing significant detail, including graphic, personal and sensitive information. 

- Chapter Three covers the investigation into Operation Vincente (an allegation of rape against Lord Brittan) and as much as possible of that chapter will also be published.

This exceptional level of information is being published in response to pressing concerns and the need to dispel rumour, to demonstrate transparency and our organisational willingness to learn from past mistakes and help maintain public confidence.

What redactions have been made have been kept to the absolute minimum and each will be explained in the published report. Criticisms made of officers and the Met in all three chapters have not been redacted and remain in the report. 

We have carefully considered the other chapters and have sought legal advice. Chapters three to nine do not relate to Carl Beech. They are reviews of investigations relating to separate complainants. The significant difference between these cases and Operation Midland is that Carl Beech has been proven in court to have fabricated the allegations he made. This means our duties to legally protect information which apply to the other chapters do not apply to chapters one and chapter two – Operation Midland. 

We have also concluded that chapter three is different from chapters four to nine due to the level of information the Met has published about Operation Vincente previously. Whilst we are legally restricted from publishing personal information about the complainant, we will be publishing the content of the chapter that relates to police action and criticism.

We do not intend to publish chapters four to nine as minimal information has previously been put into the public domain by the Met on these investigations and these chapters contain significant amounts of protected personal data about each complainant, and those they make allegations against.

The complainants provided information to the Met for the purpose of a criminal investigation and this must remain confidential. To breach this confidence would not just have an effect on these specific complainants and those who were investigated but more widely could deter victims from reporting matters to police or others from being as open and honest with police as they otherwise would be. 

Further, lifelong anonymity is afforded to the complainants under the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act 1992. This Act precludes the publication of information that might lead to their identification.

In summary there is not an over-riding policing purpose that would over-rule these exemptions and therefore we do not believe we can lawfully or morally do so. The other chapters of the report relate to:

- Chapter Four: Operation Bixley - an investigation that sat under the wider Operation Fairbank inquiry into allegations of non-recent sexual abuse by politicians.

- Chapter Five: An investigation that sat under Operation Yewtree - the inquiry into allegations of non-recent sexual abuse by celebrities.

- Chapter Six: An investigation that sat under Operation Yewtree - the inquiry into allegations of non-recent sexual abuse by celebrities.

- Chapter Seven: An investigation that sat under Operation Yewtree - the inquiry into allegations of non-recent sexual abuse by celebrities.

- Chapter Eight: An investigation that sat under Operation Yewtree - the inquiry into allegations of non-recent sexual abuse by celebrities.

- Chapter Nine: An investigation into allegations of non-recent sexual abuse by a celebrity – not part of Operation Yewtree.