Leicester

Lord Janner inquiry: Senior police 'influenced decisions'

Lord Janner Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Lord Janner is alleged to have abused victims between the 1950s and 1980s

Senior police officers may have influenced decisions about inquiries going ahead into child abuse allegations against a politician, a watchdog has said.

Leicestershire Police inquiries into Lord Janner are being reviewed by the Independent Office for Police Conduct.

The IOPC also said documents may have been "inappropriately modified" and allegations not even recorded.

The late Lord Janner and his family have always maintained his innocence.

Leicestershire Police said it could not comment at this time.

The IOPC is examining inquiries from 1991, 2001 and 2006 and said it was considering the conduct and actions of 13 individuals, though none are serving officers.

It has sent an update to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA).

IICSA has received complaints from more than 30 people alleging the former Labour MP abused victims between the 1950s and 1980s.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Prof Alexis Jay is leading the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA)

While emphasising its investigation was ongoing, the IOPC outlined "matters of concern" including:

  • In the early 1990s, before a formal investigation into Lord Janner commenced, police records indicate "a number of references to a relationship, including a sexual relationship, between Lord Janner and a child", but there is no evidence the claims were looked into
  • Once an investigation did begin, lines of inquiry "appear from the evidence not to have been carried out" and "there is an indication that senior officers may have influenced decisions regarding the inquiries being carried out"
  • In 2001-2002 "allegations made by former children's home residents appear from the evidence available not to have been investigated or recorded" and "documented results of investigative actions regarding Lord Janner appear to contain information that could be interpreted as misleading and/or inaccurate"

The update said a new referral was made to the IOPC in February, which "based on the evidence reviewed" indicated "police documents may have been inappropriately modified".

The IOPC said all those under investigation had been issued with notices regarding potential criminal offences and potential gross misconduct.

It said it hoped to produce a final report by the end of June.

IICSA said it had paused its work regarding Lord Janner to avoid any duplication.

Lord Janner, who was born in Cardiff, was an MP in Leicester for nearly 30 years.

He was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2009 and died shortly after a judge had ruled he was not fit to stand trial for alleged child sex offences, in December 2015.

His son Daniel Janner QC said: "This private document should never have been published.

"It is yet another astonishing example of this discredited inquiry's mishandling of information."

He described the IICSA inquiry into his father as a "macabre proxy prosecution of a dead innocent man who cannot answer back from the grave".

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