Judge to review Met's handling of historical sex abuse probes


Britain's top police officer Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe has spoken of a "moral crisis" as he announced a judge will probe the controversial handling of claims of a VIP paedophile ring in Westminster.

The embattled Scotland Yard boss has called in former High Court judge Sir Richard Henriques to independently review how abuse claims against public figures were conducted by Met officers.

The Metropolitan Police Commissioner on Wednesday again refused to bow to calls to apologise to Lord Bramall amid fierce criticism over the conduct of Operation Midland, which saw police raid the home of the former D-Day veteran.

The case against him was later dropped.

Sir Bernard said Operation Midland would come to an end "at some point" but for the time being inquiries continue as the independent review gets under way.

He said: "Let's bear in mind, investigating historical child sex abuse is very difficult.

"We've had quite a moral crisis over the last 18 months where initially it was said that very senior members of government had lost dossiers, that they themselves were subject of allegations and now, here we are the very obverse of that criticism, that in fact we weren't ignoring things we have gone too far.

"Well surely it's right that someone should look at that and try and produce some balance and perhaps give some guidance about how police officers and others approach difficult, historical allegations where the evidence sometimes is lost, where people's memories have sometimes faded, and it's so easy to make allegations but then how do we prove them?"