Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse – statement by the force
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The on-going public inquiry into how institutions responded to allegations of child sexual abuse held a preliminary hearing today (Thursday 20 February) into allegations relating to the late Leicester MP Lord Janner of Braunstone QC.
A full, three-week hearing examining how Leicestershire Police, and other institutions, responded to allegations that Lord Janner sexually abused children, is scheduled to take place in October this year.
But at today’s preliminary hearing, lawyers for the Inquiry explained that, for legal reasons, the full hearing may not now go ahead in the form that had been originally planned.
Instead, they set out three potential alternative options, one of which is to discontinue the hearings completely.
In his formal submission to the Inquiry, Leicestershire Police’s Chief Constable Simon Cole said that he “shares the great disappointment” of the core participant complainants that there is now a possibility that the hearings will be discontinued.
Following the hearing, he said: “Three times, in 1991, 2000 and in 2006, allegations were made to Leicestershire Police about Lord Janner, and I offer my sincere apology on behalf of the force for any case where the action or inaction of the police, or the way in which allegations were handled, in any way exacerbated or prolonged the pain suffered by any of those complainants.
“In 2013 we launched a fourth investigation - Operation Enamel - which looked at previous, and new allegations against Lord Janner, and after a thorough and far-reaching investigation we presented a comprehensive file of evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service. This ultimately led to Lord Janner being charged with 22 separate sexual offences in relation to nine different children.
“The prosecution of Lord Janner was discontinued in December 2015 due to his death, since which time the complainants have proceeded on the assumption that there would be a full public hearing of the institutional responses to their allegations.
“We will continue to assist the Inquiry in its work, will have regard to any recommendations which the Panel may make, in this investigation or in any other, and will continue to investigate allegations of child sexual abuse with determination, professionalism and sensitivity.
“For the record, none of the nine complainants involved in the criminal proceedings against Lord Janner was Carl Beech, aka “Nick”, nor does he figure among the total of 38 complainants who have alleged that Lord Janner committed sexual offences against them when they were children."