In the summer of 2016, a 20,000 word submission was made to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse. The submission provided significant evidence of Police failing to investigate serious crime within the Met, both historical and current. The IICSA, in turn, sent information to Operation Hydrant and they in turn to the Met for further investigation. As yet the Met Police do not consider these criminal allegations grounds to investigate:
Rape of a child; Coercion into drug-taking and Prostitution; Robbery; Harassment; Witness intimidation; Stalking; Emotional Abuse; Possession and Distribution of Indecent Images of Children; Child Grooming; Corruption (offences range between 1984 and 2017)
The IPCC are limited in their powers, they do not have the power to intervene in complaints and resolution is expected via the appeals process (time consuming and un-necessary). Threats and harassment towards myself as a whistleblower continue in various forms, including behaviours which indicate an intent to endanger life. In exasperation with the circular and procedural game playing I wrote to Theresa May, attaching a copy of the submission to the IICSA and highlighting Police failures. Theresa May sent my letter to the Home Office safeguarding department for a response. I have received two responses, the first letter explained that the Police are completely independent from government, the second letter also reinforced the independence of Police from government and sought to explain the work currently being undertaken by the government to address CSA.
The letter concluded with a comment that I should call 999 in an emergency!
Below is a full transcript of the response to the home office safeguarding department:
Complaint ref: T13872/16 Mon 23/01, 14:50 Public Enquiries (CD) (Public.Enquiries@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk) Dear Public Enquiries/Home Office Safeguarding Unit
thank-you for your extensive response to my inquiry. Whilst seeking clarification on Government influence upon Police operations and investigations, I also sought to clarify if government officials have the powers and authority to intervene in Police conduct. You have confirmed, repeatedly, that the Police are independent of Government and that Government is not able to intervene in police operations as this would breach a fundamental principle.
Unfortunately my questions regarding parliamentary use of procedures and legislation, in order to suppress child abuse investigations, appears to have been overlooked in your response. Hence, I will reiterate my previous question, add to it and provide some clarification as to why it is important that this matter is reviewed with imminence.
Is it the case that Government ministers have utilized gagging orders and the Official Secrets Act in order to suppress either Police evidence or investigation regarding child abuse? Do we currently have MP’s and Lords utilising these legislative frameworks to suppress information or inquiry regarding child abuse?
The reason this is important is because the use of procedures and legislation in Parliament, which suppresses Police investigation, evidence or inquiry, lends itself to the secrecy required for child abuse to thrive. Regardless on whether we view Police and Government as independent entities or as having a systemic and interconnected relationship, the use of parliamentary privilege to exercise powers that suppress child abuse investigation lends itself to a continuance of behaviours that cause significant harm to children. Furthermore, such practices disable the professionals with a remit to safeguard children and can encourage corruption within the safeguarding system. No amount of consultation, training, education, legislation reviews, road shows or procedural frameworks can compensate for a lack of integrity in government operations. Such is the sphere of governmental influence upon institutional functioning.
Whilst I agree that “Where abuse has occurred it must be thoroughly and properly investigated and those responsible brought to justice”, this is not taking place in practice. The HMIC report demonstrates a failing response to child abuse across the Met, as do my own personal and professional examples and many others. There has been significant political influence in the evolution of the safeguarding system, it is likely there will continue to be political influence, indeed political influence is a primary force in safeguarding, this is regardless of whether politicians become involved in individual cases or not . As comprehensively explained in your response, government has significant influence and oversight in a range of capacities. Unfortunately, the inappropriate use of parliamentary powers and self serving use of procedure can undermine the safeguarding system and it is this that I would please like clarified.
Political parties of all colours have indicated safeguarding is a priority. Despite this and whether governed by Tory, Labour, or Coalition governments, safeguarding has been systematically and continually undermined. Whilst my own experience of the Police failing to investigate is a particularly trying and circular one, I am also aware of some incredibly good, committed and hard-working Police. Unfortunately those who speak out against operational failures and abuses of power within the leadership hierarchy have met extreme and detrimental consequences – i.e.; Andrea Davison, a former British intelligence officer who had to seek asylum in another country, such was the level of threat and violence posed to her. This violence is not the type you can always call 999 for, it is passive, engineered, often procedural, as well as direct threat. Social Work whistleblowers have been sectioned on dubious grounds, care workers have been imprisoned on dubious grounds (Melanie Shaw has been categorised by some as a Political Prisoner), health workers have had their children removed on dubious grounds, the systemic abuses of professional whistleblowers are as endemic as the problem of child exploitation itself in the UK. How can safeguarding ever be achieved when the Police Officers and Social Workers, who do their jobs well, are treated in such a derogatory and harmful manner by the very government systems and procedures that are supposed to support safeguarding?
Whilst I can certainly testify to the level of systemic, passive procedural violence and associated harms that becomes the reality for whistleblowers, this is not my intent. What I will say is that such an orchestrated, strategic and adverse response to whistleblowers is akin to a type of psychological warfare, it undermines safeguarding on an individual and social level and could only be orchestrated by those with a sufficient level of systemic influence (i.e.; political leadership). Hence, whilst I appreciate that this government are going some of the way to address the problem, this is hardly possible if members of parliament prevent investigation into themselves. Government can only support and achieve a safeguarding objective, if parliament and the House of Lords are free from those who abuse. Is Parliament and the House of Lords free from child abusers? If so, why is it thought necessary to utilise parliamentary privilege, gagging orders and Official Secrets legislation to suppress investigation into child abuse? It suggests corrupt practices and indeed practices which potentially represent a threat to our National Security. Any child abuser in parliament is a risk, both to children and to national security, given the scope for blackmail. If influence and procedure is being utilised at a governmental level to protect VIP’s from investigation into child abuse, this distorts the original spirit of the legislation and allows for harmful and degrading treatment against children to continue. Safeguarding requires something more than developing robust procedures, it requires ensuring a level of transparency in political operations that cannot be undermined, Official Secrets and Gagging should only be used for matters of National Security. Child abuse will continue to be systemic if those who speak out against it are dismissed and those who perpetuate it protected and supported by the very services and legislation responsible for safeguarding.
As you are aware, I am a Social Worker, whistleblower and campaigner against child abuse, I have raised issues with Police, various local authorities, IICSA, members of parliament and various governmental departments, when they have failed to act in accordance with safeguarding objectives, I have raised further issues. The continual failure to address the matters raised is systemic and lends itself to ongoing failures to safeguard. The justifications offered by various departments for not taking action to safeguard are usually that it is ‘not within their remit’, I am invariably passed to another authority and the circular pattern repeats itself over and over again. Current procedure and associated practice, appears to be seriously limiting safeguarding. Safeguarding requires partnership working, communication and a commitment to take professional responsibility to safeguard seriously, it is this professional responsibility that appears to be lacking, particularly when members of parliament use legislation to suppress investigations into child abuse. Safeguarding is every bodies responsibility, it is particularly the responsibility of government.
Children are being exploited in the UK, IIOC are widespread, children are being abused in the most horrific manner possible, they are emotionally, physically and psychologically terrorised and with all due respect the procedures are not proving effective, in some circumstances they are contrary to safeguarding being achieved (i.e.; gagging orders, imposed by Parliament on police investigations). It appears that procedures are being utilised by those in political office to prevent full and thorough investigation, this in itself poses a serious and significant threat to the safeguarding of children in the UK. May I suggest that such practices could constitute a very serious misconduct in Public Office and they need to be addressed. Whilst I recognise that some members of government have been investigated for child abuse and brought to justice, the scope for allowing full and thorough investigation has not always extended to their wider networks. May I again suggest that the use of gagging and OSA is a corrupt use of powers that has undermined investigation, justice and safeguarding, as well as the principle of Police independence.
Whilst Police, social workers, teachers, health workers and various other statutory bodies may have been complicit in the levels of child abuse that have evolved nationally, this was not necessarily because they did not follow procedure. Professionals utilise government supported, specialist assessment tools, these tools are designed to assess need and risk and inform intervention. Professionals follow procedural guidelines and the legislation developed by Parliament. It needs to be recognised that Ofsted Inspections of various authorities failed to detect the levels of abuse and exploitation that were taking place, it was, in some instances, professionals that brought matters to attention and eventually triggered investigation and review (Oxford – Bullfinch). Hence the extent to which procedures and legislative frameworks safeguarded, either at practice or inspection level, is highly questionable. Furthermore, statutory powers, if utilised in a corrupt manner, can be highly damaging to individuals, families and society, as referenced in my submission to the IICSA.
I am in general agreement with the governments Children and Social Work Bill as it seeks to roll back some of the bureaucracy that has consistently failed to safeguard children and allows for more creative and community led responses. I am also aware of some of the changes recommended for policing and in agreement with the IPCC having greater independence and powers to oversee Police complaints, however, whilst this may be useful in the future, it is not helpful in the present context. Police are failing to investigate, Professional Standards take complaints out of all context, IPCC can’t do anything about it. This is not acceptable and people are being placed at immediate and direct risk of harm as a result. Children and whistleblowers are not being Safeguarded, which leads one to wonder what the Home Office Safeguarding role actually is? It appears Politicians intervene when it suits them, i.e. to terminate or avoid investigation, but don’t intervene when peoples lives are being placed in immediate danger. What is the point of having a home office safeguarding department if they fail to actually safeguard?
I have come to suspect that the personal and professional matters I have brought to the attention of authorities over the years (decades now) have not been investigated because there has indeed been political intervention. Inappropriate and corrupted political intervention, combined with use of procedures that are contrary to safeguarding.
On a final note, may I respectfully point out that you appear to have overlooked signing your name or stating your position within the home office on the letter.
Many thanks and regards
I await the response of the home-office safeguarding department.