August 21 2014 Latest news:
Peter Walsh, Crime correspondent
Monday, July 14, 2014
Norfolk’s chief constable will oversee investigations into allegations of historic sex abuse across the country in the wake of a growing number of celebrities and politicians being accused of sex crimes, it has emerged.
It is believed hundreds more people have made allegations against senior establishment figures after reports the Home Office shredded hundreds of documents related to a paedophile ring at Westminster.
The allegations together with the growing number of celebrities and politicians being accused of child abuse has resulted in Norfolk’s chief constable Simon Bailey taking the national lead for co-ordinating national investigations into historic sex abuse.
There are currently 13 police forces conducting 21 different sexual abuse inquiries into allegations against MPs, peers and other public figures.
Mr Bailey, national Lead for Child Protection and Abuse Investigations for the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), said: “Almost without exception police forces are seeing significant increases in child sexual abuse investigations.
“We do not believe that more offences are being committed but rather victims are becoming increasingly confident that they are going to be believed and that police are now dealing with such complaints in a very professional and sympathetic manner.
“It is important that there in a co-ordinated approach to investigating cases of historic sexual abuse.
“Working closely with forces and key partners we continually maintain an overview of on-going enquiries to ensure no conflicts exist and best practise is identified.
“Sharing this across the service and making sure investigating officers have access to the right resources is fundamental in ensuring cases are thoroughly and properly investigated and individuals are rightly put before the courts where appropriate.”
Recent convictions of Rolf Harris, the entertainer, and Max Clifford, the publicist, have given victims increased confidence to come forward in the knowledge their allegations would be dealt with seriously.