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Statement from Commissioner Cressida Dick

News   •   Oct 07, 2019 14:59 BST

Statement from the Commissioner about Operation Midland:

Commissioner Cressida Dick, said: "I am deeply sorry for the mistakes that were made during our investigations into the appalling lies spun by Carl Beech. They simply should not have happened.

"My predecessor apologised to Lord Bramall, Lady Brittan and Harvey Proctor. I have too. I repeat that apology again today.

"Last week we took the extraordinary step to publish Sir Richard Henriques' review of Operations Midland and Vincente.

"I am grateful for his significant and wide-ranging report and Sir Richard's continued determination to improve our work and its oversight.

'Although we don't accept all its recommendations, we have sought to embed all those which are relevant into our everyday practices.

"These will now be subject to an inspection by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate at the request of the Home Secretary, and I absolutely welcome that.

"I have already had a preliminary discussion with Her Majesty's Chief Inspector Sir Thomas Winsor. I look forward to working closely with his team to support their work.

"As Commissioner I believe it is vital for public confidence that we have independent assurance of how we make often difficult decisions.

"The Met takes its responsibility to learn from any failings with the utmost gravity.

"In the wake of Sir Richard's report, the Met referred several matters to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) for further examination.

"As their report published today shows, the IOPC found some areas of our investigations could have been better but also concluded nothing that took place amounted to a criminal action or misconduct.

"We now have their recommendations and will take time to consider carefully any additional improvements we must make.

"Their report covers very important areas of policing such as warrants, searches and our relationship with those who make allegations to us.

"As soon as I became Commissioner I made it clear that in my view we should listen, record what people say and offer them support. From that moment on we are investigators.

"Our job as police is to investigate impartially and with an open mind to establish the facts. Where offences have been committed we then seek to bring offenders to justice.

"I have tasked Deputy Assistant Commissioner Matt Twist to take forward the Met's response. He will report directly to me.

"It is imperative that police investigate child abuse, whether historic or contemporary, with confidence and professionalism. These are some of our toughest inquiries but we remain determined to approach them with absolute integrity.

"I recognise our mistakes will have a lasting effect on those who endured intrusive inquiries and were thrust into the spotlight. For some this is an issue that has fundamentally damaged their trust in us. This is a matter of great regret for me.

"But I am determined that while learning from the past our focus will not be distracted from the urgent policing challenges we face now and in the future."