Leicestershire Police officers ‘shut down’ investigations into Lord Janner without ‘pursuing all inquiries’, according to the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse (IICSA) found that
The late Labour peer Greville Janner had been at the centre of child sexual abuse allegations which date back to 1955. There were three police investigations which took place in the 1990s and 2000s however, no charges were brough forth. He was charged in 2015, after a fourth inquiry, with offences against nine alleged victims however, police say that there were 40 people who accused him of abuse. Lord Janner, who was suffering with dementia at the time, was ruled unfit to plead and died aged 87 before the trial could take place.
Chairman of the inquiry, Professor Alexis Jay, said police and prosecutors ‘appeared reluctant to fully investigate’ claims against Lord Janner despite ‘numerous serious allegations’. ‘On multiple occasions police put too little emphasis on looking for supporting evidence and shut down investigations without pursuing all outstanding inquiries,’ she stated. Lord Janner always protested his innocence and his son Daniel Janner QC campaigns for anonymity for those suspected of sex offences until charged (as reported here).
Prof Jay said: ‘This inquiry has brought up themes we are now extremely familiar with, such as deference to powerful individuals, the barriers to reporting faced by children and the need for institutions to have clear policies and procedures setting out how to respond to allegations of child sexual abuse.’
The inquiry received accounts form a total of 33 complainants with Janner’s allegations of abuse stretching across 30 years. In October 2020, the inquiry received evident form Lord Janner’s alleged victims. None of the alleged victims were called in person to hand evidence as the inquiry focused solely on the stat responses to their allegations, not the authenticity of their claims.
Although the report did not find any evidence of a conspiracy to protect an MP, the officials believe that its inquiry present something more serious. Adults who had grown up in care homes and children’s homes were not taken seriously when they came forward with their allegations because of their background. One accuser’s claims were rejected because he was believed to have a history of mental illness however, when later police inquiries looked at his medical records it was concluded that this wasn’t the case. The inquiry also heard ‘a number’ of staff at Leicestershire County Council had multiple concerns over lord Janner’s association with a child in care. The report stated that ‘undue deference’ was shown to the politician, who had ‘unrestricted access’ to the child, with little if any thought given to any child protection issues’. No investigations were made into the concerns of its staff and the council has accepted it ‘failed to take adequate steps in response’ to them.