The reaction of Leicestershire Police to the decision not to prosecute Greville Janner has been extraordinary.
First they issued a media statement quoting their Assistant Chief Constable Roger Bannister:
Thanks primarily to the courage of 25 victims who have made a complaint and the complete professionalism of the investigation team, we have built a case that the DPP has acknowledged is the result of a thorough investigation, evidentially sufficient and gives rise to a realistic chance of conviction.
“There is credible evidence that this man carried out some of the most serious sexual crimes imaginable over three decades against children who were highly vulnerable and the majority of whom were in care.
“I am extremely worried about the impact the decision not to prosecute him will have on those people, and more widely I am worried about the message this decision sends out to others , both past and present, who have suffered and are suffering sexual abuse.
“We are exploring what possible legal avenues there may be to challenge this decision and victims themselves have a right to review under a CPS procedure.”And then they issued an even more extraordinary media statement - here it is in full:
The following is a statement made by one of the 25 individuals who claimed to have been assaulted in Leicestershire between the 1960s and 1980s and whose claims were investigated by Leicestershire’s Police Operation Enamel enquiry.
The man has expressly requested that Leicestershire Police make his statement publicly available.
In describing today’s decision as “a disgrace”, he said:
“This animal is still being protected because [of his status] and isn't able to stand trial. They say that it's not in the public interest, but isn't it in the public interest to know what his victims have gone through at the hands of this man?
“If he was an everyday person with a normal life and job, justice would [have] been served, but as it stands we victims are just being pushed to the ground again and walked over.
“Let someone feel the pain and suffering that I've endured and still going to endure for the rest of my life. It's not a case of being found guilty or going to prison - it's about being believed after so long being told that we were lying. Justice needs to be served.”Meanwhile, Sir Clive Loader (the county's police and crime commissioner) also waded in:
The decision by the Director of Public Prosecutions not to bring charges against a suspected serial sex offender has been condemned as “wholly perverse” by Leicestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Sir Clive Loader.
Sir Clive said he believed an overwhelming case had been built during a two-year investigation by the Force to show that the man spent three decades sexually abusing children in Leicester care homes in “the most revolting and hideous” manner.
That man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is alleged to have committed his catalogue of crimes whilst holding prominent public office.You may question whether the police should be commenting on questions in this way. If, like me, you are sceptical of the whole idea of police and crime commissioners, you may remember that Clive Loader is a Conservative politician attacking a Labour one.
But unless the authorities can show that it is possible for a prominent politician to be prosecuted for offences against children, such reactions are bound to become more common.
As a Liberal I cling to the principle that a man is innocent until proved guilty. But if you are not prepared even to attempt to find him guilty, then that principle rather loses its appeal.
Incidentally, there is no need to invoke a conspiracy to explain the consistent failure to prosecute Greville Janner. The usual combination of fear, snobbery and mediocrity will do it perfectly well.