Operation Midland Independent Report

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:38 pm on 7th October 2019.

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Photo of Kit Malthouse Kit Malthouse The Minister of State, Home Department 6:38 pm, 7th October 2019

My right hon. Friend raises issues that are, of course, important. He rightly points out the devastating impact, as I mentioned earlier, that this episode has had on many significant public figures, one of whom was a much decorated war hero. I hope he will recognise that, in many circumstances, the police face a difficult task in trying to balance the need to give victims of crime the confidence to come forward, engage with them and report crimes, against the requirement to have justice or impartiality in an investigation at the same time.

The College of Policing, which looked at the guidelines, considered, for example, the tendency or policy that had been adopted for victims always to be believed. We have clarified the guidance that is available to police officers in those circumstances, such that, while a victim’s allegations must be heard with integrity and properly recorded once an investigation has begun, that must be done with impartiality. We hope and believe that the audit or inspection by Her Majesty’s inspector will look specifically at whether the Met has learned the lessons of this particular episode.