Alistair Lexden continues to pursue two notorious cases of misconduct which, along with several others, ought not to be forgotten.
Operation Conifer, which investigated allegations of child sex abuse by Sir Edward Heath, was carried out with outrageous bias by the then Chief Constable of Wiltshire, Mike Veale.
Operation Midland, also concerned with child sex abuse allegations, which inflicted appalling distress on a number of prominent people on the basis of claims by a fantasist now serving a long jail sentence, involved much police misconduct, including the use of false information to obtain search warrants from a judge.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), the body which is supposed to hold the police to the highest standards, seems incapable of doing its job properly.
On 8 July, Alistair Lexden raised these issues through an oral question in the Lords. He asked: “Why has this organisation [the IOPC] not published the results of its inquiry, which started two years ago, into the disgraced former chief constable, Mike Veale, the man who said infamously that Sir Edward Heath was 120% guilty while investigating allegations against him? Are the Government going to heed the demand from six former Home Secretaries, both Labour and Conservative, for an independent investigation of misconduct during Operation Midland, including that of the IOPC, which failed even to question the most senior police officer involved, Mr [Steve] Rodhouse, and was unable to provide an adequate explanation to the Home Secretary when she asked for it?”
The Home Office Minister in the Lords failed to address these specific points. The demand for action on police misconduct will need to be intensified further.