Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, has come under mounting criticism from multiple sources over his handling of historic abuse cases investigated by the MPS. He recently offered a full apology to the widow of Lord Brittan, regretting the distress he placed herself and her deceased husband under, as the latter was seriously ill on his death bed. Meanwhile, he held a meeting with Lord Bramall last week, during which Lord Bramall expressed dissatisfaction at the nature of the investigation he himself endured, before final exoneration. Added to this catalogue of failure, Lieutenant Colonel Benjamin Herman spoke of his outrage at being placed on bail for 27 months, over allegations of which he knew he was completely innocent.
Speaking at the BFMS Annual Meeting on 9 April, he said:
“The police live and thrive off VIPs, there is this enormous tranche of VIP allegations. And they have made cock-up after cock-up after cock-up which the commissioner of the Metropolitan Police had failed to take charge of. If someone can’t run their unit, or their ship, you sack him and put someone else in.”
“And I firmly believe he should be sacked.”
Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe was even put under pressure to apologise to Lord Bramall when he appeared before the House of Commons Select Committee in February. He said he regretted what had happened but refused to apologise.
A statement issued on behalf of Lord Bramall said: “The Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police met with Lord Bramall on April 7, 2016. They had a useful constructive meeting.
“The Commissioner expressed deep regret at the great distress that had been caused to Lord Bramall and his family by the circumstances of Operation Midland which as an innocent man Lord Bramall had to endure for ten months.
“The Commissioner further assured Lord Bramall that the Metropolitan Police Service would be taking the urgent steps to implement the recommendations of the independent review led by Sir Richard Henriques.
“Lord Bramall looks forward to contributing to this review with the aim of establishing whether the investigation could or should have been handled differently.
“Lord Bramall accepts these assurances and appreciates the great pressure the Metropolitan Police have been under.”
Sir Bernard has asked Sir Richard to examine the way non-recent sexual allegations against public figures are investigated, and the MPS will publish the key findings of the review and the recommendations later this year.
To find out more please visit the Police Professional website.
Benjamin Herman’s discussion of his own case at the BFMS annual meeting has been described in a previous article here.