November 23 2014 Latest news:
Friday, November 9, 2012
The Labour MP for West Bromwich East sent an open letter to David Cameron blasting Kent police and several other forces
Kent Police has vigorously defended its officers after a leading Labour MP claimed the service had let down victims of child abuse.
As the repercussions of the Jimmy Savile fallout continued to spread, the MP for West Bromwich East, Tom Watson, sent an open letter to David Cameron blasting Kent police and several other forces.
He said they needed “to have their archives systematically searched for intelligence from witnesses/victims making claims which were not investigated; investigations which were closed down, and so on.”
The Kent constabulary is baffled by the claim, saying it has had no contact from Mr Watson about his concerns, and it stands by the way it has handled abuse cases.
It comes as the PM ordered an investigation of activities at the Bryn Estyn home in north Wales, amid claims that a local paedophile ring was operating there with members allegedly including a former Margaret Thatcher aide, that Tom Watson claims was a cabinet minister.
He wrote: “We both know that many untruths are told about politicians, but this allegation was specific, informed and appeared well corroborated. Cutting through a concerted establishment cover-up requires meticulous, diligent, fearless commitment to uncover the truth, whomever it unmasks.”
He added: “But my experience of uncovering massive establishment conspiracies leaves me in no doubt that what you have suggested does not go anything like far enough. Its limited scope may even slow things down, muddy waters, damage trails. What is needed is a much wider, but equally immediate, investigation.”
The outspoken MP told Mr Cameron: “My advice to you as Prime Minister – and from one father to another – is that you need to order a special police investigation, outside the affected forces, with proper resources, to review all relevant police files and those of the intelligence services.”
Although he does not give any examples of apparent Kent police wrong-doing, he does then list the county as one of “the forces so far known of be affected”.
He told the PM that child protection specialists “have been raising their concerns for years”.
And he concludes: “A dedicated police unit is essential, investigating the organised abuse of children, wherever it happened – from the seediest backstreets even to Downing Street – without fear or favour of exposing the rich and powerful, or those who covered up for them.
“And if it opens a floodgate of misery, then so be it. We will all feel dirtied and sickened – as we should. Victims have an absolute right to the whole truth.
“I know you want to do this and ask that you give it your urgent attention. You have no choice.”
Detective Superintendent Tim Smith, head of public protection at Kent Police, said: “We have an excellent track record in investigating child abuse and in securing significant prison sentences for those who are guilty of such appalling offences.
“We have not had any contact from Mr Watson, nor does he reference any specific cases investigated by Kent Police in his letter to the Prime Minister, but if he has any concerns we are more than happy to address these.”