LONDON — The watchdog that oversees British police said it had begun an investigation into allegations London police chiefs dropped inquiries into child sex abuse claims because they involved politicians and high-profile figures.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission said it would examine allegations police suppressed evidence, hindered investigations into pedophile rings and covered up crimes because they involved members of Parliament and police officers.
London’s Metropolitan Police are investigating allegations of sex crimes involving powerful establishment figures from the 1970s and 1980s, including claims that three young boys had been murdered.
However, the commission will be looking at why detectives failed to act between 1970 and 2005 after victims and some former officers came forward to say inquiries had been either dropped or accusations ignored.
“These allegations are of historic, high-level corruption of the most serious nature,” IPCC Deputy Chairman Sarah Green said.
The commission said among the 14 allegations was a claim an investigation targeting young men in Dolphin Square, a central London block of flats close to Parliament, had been dropped “because officers were too near prominent people.”
Another said a document was “found at an address of a paedophile that originated from the Houses of Parliament listing a number of highly prominent individuals (MPs and senior police officers) as being involved in a paedophile ring and no further action was taken.”
A further accusation was that a senior officer halted an inquiry after an order came from “up high.”
The Metropolitan Police said it had voluntarily referred the corruption allegations to the commission and said it was committed to investigating claims of historical sex abuse.
The British government has ordered a major inquiry into decades of child abuse and whether powerful figures covered it up, following a series of shocking scandals. Reuters