Carl beech

The police haven’t learned from the Operation Midland disaster

Sir Richard Henriques, the former High Court Judge who published a devastating report on Operation Midland – the Metropolitan Police’s investigation into a fictitious ‘VIP paedophile ring’ made up by Carl Beech and others – has called for a criminal investigation into the officers who botched the investigation. Amongst a catalogue of other failings, officers are accused of misleading the Senior District Judge for England and Wales into issuing search warrants, by describing Mr Beech as ‘a credible witness who is telling the truth.’ Sir Richard’s report was published over four years ago. The Met’s response has been characterised by delay, confusion and obfuscation. On the one hand Bernard Hogan-Howe

A convincing and hair-raising depiction of showbiz at its most luridly weird: I Hate Suzie reviewed

Fifteen minutes into the first episode of I Hate Suzie, main character Suzie Pickles was doing a photoshoot in her country cottage for Esquire magazine. ‘We don’t know what we’re looking for right now,’ the photographer told her. ‘We’re just going to cycle through some feelings and see where we are.’ What he didn’t know, but we did, was quite how many feelings Suzie (Billie Piper) had already had to cycle through by then. The programme began with her thrilled to hear that she’d bagged a Disney film role and cracking open the champagne. A few minutes later, she learned that some sex photos of her had been hacked and

The police have become too politicised to function

Of the many admirable demands made by supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement, such as dismantling capitalism and making white people pay for centuries of vile oppression, none commended themselves to me more than the demand that we should defund the police. This is a hugely attractive proposition, I thought, as I watched the chief constable of Kent, Alan Pughsley, ‘take the knee’ in solidarity with people who want him abolished. I felt much the same upon hearing the words of Superintendent Andrew ‘Andy’ Bennett of Avon and Somerset Police, who watched as BLM protestors threw a statue of Edward Colston into the river. ‘Andy’ instructed his men to

The ‘Westminster paedophile ring’ is a lesson in how not to carry out a police investigation

A cornerstone of any -functioning democracy is the separation of police and the courts on one hand, and government and parliament on the other. Where the latter are charged with making the law, they should never, ever be allowed to interfere with the enforcement of that law. Politicians have no power to tell the police what to investigate. As Lord Denning once observed, no policeman is subject to orders of the Secretary of State: ‘No minister of the Crown can tell him that he must, or must not, keep observation on this place or that. Or that he must prosecute this man or that one… He is answerable to the