Tag Archives: Wiltshire Police Constable Mike Veale

AUGUST 6 2020 – “POLICE ADVISED TO STILL AUTOMATICALLY BELIEVE ALLEGED ABUSE VICTIMS IN NEW GUIDELINES, DESPITE WARNINGS IN REVIEW OF ‘NICK THE FANTASIST’ CASE” – DAILY MAIL

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Sir Richard Henriques

“POLICE ADVISED TO STILL AUTOMATICALLY BELIEVE ALLEGED ABUSE VICTIMS IN NEW GUIDELINES, DESPITE WARNINGS IN REVIEW OF ‘NICK THE FANTASIST’ CASE” – DAILY MAIL

  • Controversial instruction is contained in new College of Policing guidance 

  • Comes despite warnings after disastrous inquiry into VIP sex abuse claims 

  • Claims of fantasist Carl Beech were notoriously called ‘credible and true’ 

Police are still being advised to automatically believe alleged abuse victims in new guidelines despite warnings from a senior judge in his review of the ‘Nick the fantasist’ case.

The College of Policing guidance, which was published today, controversially tells detectives investigating claims of child abuse that ‘the intention is that victims are believed’.

Sir Richard Henriques, in his review of how police handled claims of VIP sex abuse from the fantasist Carl Beech, called for the instruction to be withdrawn because suspects are innocent until proven guilty.

Beech’s slurs were described as ‘credible and true’ by a senior officer, and went on to trash the reputations of esteemed public figures including D-Day hero Lord Bramall, former Home Secretary Leon Brittan, ex-Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath and former Tory MP Harvey Proctor.

The new guidance comes despite warnings from retired judge Sir Richard Henriques, in his review of how police handled claims of VIP sex abuse from the fantasist Carl Beech (pictured in a police interview from 2016)

The new guidance comes despite warnings from retired judge Sir Richard Henriques, in his review of how police handled claims of VIP sex abuse from the fantasist Carl Beech (pictured in a police interview from 2016)

Sir Richard criticised the decision to keep the guidance, telling The Times: ‘They’ve learnt nothing at all from Nick.

‘The whole basis of their explanation for believing Nick is that they were driven to believe by the protocol that was in existence.’

The guidance was produced by the College of Policing and senior officers in Operation Hydrant, which leads the investigation of historic abuse allegations.

It was today defended by Hydrant chief Simon Bailey, who insisted officers did not apply ‘blind belief’.

He said that victims were constantly told by their abusers they would never be believed, and they would never come to the police if they did not feel they would be listened to.

The new guidance also urges officers not to go ‘trawling’ for abuse victims but to use prior investigation to approach specific groups of possible victims or witnesses.

It also advises the, when releasing information about a suspect who has died, officers must ‘make it clear that there police are making no judgments about guilt’.

Wiltshire Police was criticised for holding a press conference outside the late former Prime Minister’s Edward Heath’s home in 2015 to announce they were investigating claims he was a paedophile, before urging other alleged victims to come forward.

The force later said that, if the politician had been alive, he would have been interviewed about seven disclosures under criminal caution.

Carl Beech – the fantasist and paedophile known by the pseudonym ‘Nick’ – was sentenced to eighteen years in prison in July 2019 to his false claims, including against Sir Edward.

Sir Richard criticised the decision to keep the guidance, saying: 'They've learnt nothing at all from Nick'

Sir Richard criticised the decision to keep the guidance, saying: ‘They’ve learnt nothing at all from Nick’

Sir Richard’s report on Scotland Yard’s investigation, Operation Midland, advised that ‘the instruction to believe a victim’s account should cease’.

He said people who make allegations to police should be called complainants, not victims, so not to imply guilt. The report, commissioned by the Met, was handed to senior commanders in 2016 but was finally published in full in October 2019.

It exposed the appalling failures of senior officers who believed Nick’s false allegations as they mounted a bungled £2.5 million investigation which ruined the lives of war hero Lord Bramall, Lord Brittan and Mr Proctor.

Police decided to automatically believe claims of sexual abuse in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal, when it emerged that credible rape reports had been dismissed.

But the approach led to the Met notoriously describing as ‘credible and true’ the false allegations made by Beech, which were also backed in Parliament by the Labour MP Tom Watson.

The 51-year-old falsely alleged that between the ages of seven and 16 he had been collected by car from his various schools in the country and driven to London, where he and other young boys were raped, burned, stabbed and tortured.

He claimed the offences were committed in the Carlton Club or in the apartment block in Pimlico called Dolphin Square. Afterwards, Nick would be returned by car to his home, where he lived alone with his mother.

He had originally made allegations to Wiltshire Police, who had interviewed him but concluded he lacked credibility.

His mother was also questioned and told them she had no knowledge of any unauthorised absence from school and had never seen any bloodstained underwear or similar sign of sexual abuse.

Yet Met officers listening to his claims were not given his earlier interviews so missed the large number of inconsistencies.

Beech's slurs were notoriously called 'credible and true' during a press conference outside New Scotland Yard

Beech’s slurs were notoriously called ‘credible and true’ during a press conference outside New Scotland Yard

Sir Richard said they then continued investigating his claims ‘in a disordered and chaotic manner and littered with mistakes’.

In his new book, From Crime To Crime, which was serialised in the Daily Mail, the former judge wrote: ‘They failed to ask Nick for his computers or mobile phone.

‘They ignored the fact that his medical records disclosed no injury consistent with his allegations in his personal online blog that his feet were stabbed and burned, poppies pinned to his bare chest and numerous bones broken.

‘They had no regard to the inherent improbability of men of the highest standing and impeccable character having behaved in the manner alleged.’

Moving on the notorious ‘credible and true’ press conference, he continued: ‘Instead the police made a public appeal for information, with a senior officer, Detective Superintendent Kenny McDonald, standing outside New Scotland Yard and telling a press conference that they believed Nick’s allegations to be both ‘credible and true’.

‘The words should never have been uttered, and the officer himself later admitted they were inappropriate, saying he selected the wrong words in the heat of an interview.

‘But there was no correction for many months, by which time, as we will see below, two completely bogus potential witnesses had come forward with more lies purporting to support ‘Nick’.’

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LETTER SUBMISSION TO THE TIMES

Dear Editor

The Chief Constable of Norfolk Simon Bailey states [‘Officers told to believe sex abuse claims despite fantasist scandal’, Times, Aug 6]:

“We shouldn’t allow one investigation to be the basis upon which we ignore a substantial body of evidence that talks about the importance of being believed”

The professional approach is to neither believe nor disbelieve the complainant and their allegation. There is no right or entitlement for a complainant to be believed, but there is a right and entitlement for a complainant to be treated with respect, to take their allegation seriously, to listen with compassion, and to record the facts clearly.

Yours sincerely

Richard W. Symonds

The Bell Society

October 15 2017 – “Ted Heath sex abuse expert: I’d never let him near children” / “Met DIDN’T probe claim by 11-year-old” – Mail on Sunday – Simon Walters

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4980996/Child-sex-expert-not-trust-Ted-Heath-children.html

‘I’d never let him near children’: Leading child sex abuse expert who investigated said she would not trust former Prime Minister Ted Heath were he alive today

  • Dr Elly Hanson says Ted Heath would not meet ‘modern safeguarding criteria’
  • She hit out at the ‘hostile’ response to police enquiry into the late Prime Minister
  • Compared it to the Harvey Weinstein scandal in being late to surface in media 

One of Britain’s leading experts on child sex abuse who took part in the investigation into paedophile claims against Sir Edward Heath has said she would not trust him with children were he alive today.

Dr Elly Hanson, a clinical psychologist who specialises in abuse and trauma, said her opinion was based on secret evidence obtained by police concerning Sir Edward’s alleged crimes.

She also criticised the ‘hostile’ response to the police inquiry into the former Prime Minister, who died in 2005, which said he should be questioned under caution over the abuse allegations if he were alive.

Dr Hanson compared the response to the Harvey Weinstein scandal and the silence that shrouded his alleged behaviour before this month’s revelations, arguing that it deterred other sex abuse victims from reporting crimes.

She spoke out after Wiltshire Chief Constable Mike Veale faced pressure to resign over claims that he was ‘duped’ by ‘fantasist’ allegations against Sir Edward.

Dr Elly Hanson (pictured) , a clinical psychologist and one of the leading experts on child sex abuse, says she would not trust former Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath with children if he were alive today 

Dr Elly Hanson (pictured) , a clinical psychologist and one of the leading experts on child sex abuse, says she would not trust former Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath with children if he were alive today

A report by Mr Veale said seven of 42 allegations of assault by Sir Edward of young boys would justify questioning him under caution – though did not prove his guilt.

Dr Hanson told The Mail on Sunday: ‘On the balance of probabilities and based on the information I have seen, if I was asked to decide if Sir Edward should have access to children I would say he would not meet the modern safeguarding threshold to protect them from risk.’

One of four ‘independent scrutineers’ given full access to secret details of child sex allegations against Sir Edward, Dr Hanson praised the ‘professional, thorough and sensitive’ inquiry.

‘Just because a jury can never decide guilt or otherwise in this case does not mean we cannot or should not even look at it,’ she said.

‘Jimmy Savile, Cyril Smith and Harvey Weinstein are all innocent in the eyes of the law, but we have been able to have a discussion about what they are alleged to have done.

Yet some appear to think we are not entitled to have the same discussion about Sir Edward Heath.

‘I am not saying he is in the same category as them, or that he is guilty. But in my view, the fact that he was Prime Minister makes it all the more important that we can discuss it.’

She said some of the evidence obtained by police was ‘very compelling’, often with ‘supporting information’.

Dr Hanson said: ‘The hostile response by some to the inquiry into Sir Edward Heath is disappointing. To label everyone who comes forward as fantasist is unfair and unhelpful. It sends completely the wrong message to all victims of sexual abuse.

‘As we have seen in the Weinstein case, if they feel they won’t be listened to they will remain silent.’

A recent report said seven of 42 allegations of assault by Ted Heath (pictured) of young boys would justify questioning him under caution

A recent report said seven of 42 allegations of assault by Ted Heath (pictured) of young boys would justify questioning him under caution

She was backed by fellow ‘scrutineer’ Perdeep Tanday, who runs a pharmacy business in Salisbury, Sir Edward’s home city.

Mr Tanday, appointed to ‘represent the public view’, said he was ‘shocked’ to learn from detectives of details of Sir Edward’s alleged crimes.

He said: ‘I always had great respect for Edward Heath as a politician but the allegations were shocking.

I believe the majority were 100 per cent genuine and convincing. The evidence was of a high quality and in many cases corroborated.’

Asked if he would have trusted Sir Edward with his three grown-up sons when they were younger, Mr Tanday declined to answer.

Mr Tanday, 51, added: ‘Unlike those criticising Mr Veale, I know the facts.

The evidence was gathered by detectives with decades of experience of investigating rape, murder and other serious crimes. I trust them.’

Mr Veale received further support from Wiltshire MP Claire Perry, former adviser to David Cameron on the sexualisation of children.

‘We would have been doing victims of sexual abuse a great disservice if we hadn’t investigated these claims and I fully support Mike Veale,’ said Ms Perry.

But Wiltshire North Conservative MP James Gray, who knew Sir Edward, said: ‘Mr Veale tried to make a name for himself on the back of the Jimmy Savile hysteria and came unstuck.

‘He has besmirched Sir Edward’s good name and should resign.’

The two other ‘scrutineers’, human rights QC Danny Friedman and surgeon Professor Vassilios Papalois, said Operation Conifer was ‘fair, sensitive and rigorous’.

 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4981076/Police-didn-t-investigate-boy-s-claims-Ted-Heath-abuse.html

Met police DID NOT probe claim by 11-year-old boy that he had been abused by Ted Heath because of policy not to investigate allegations against dead people

  • The now 68-year-old alleged victim reported made a complaint in April 2015
  • It was assumed the Met had investigated before deciding not to pursue the case
  • But it has been revealed it wasn’t looked into because of lack of ‘current risk’

A key criticism levelled at the police chief under fire for the paedophile investigation into Sir Edward Heath was exposed as false today.

Wiltshire Chief Constable Mike Veale has been condemned for including the alleged rape of an 11-year-old boy by Sir Edward in 1961 among seven cases he said would warrant questioning the former Prime Minister under caution were he alive today.

Critics said Mr Veale had blundered because Scotland Yard ‘investigated’ the case in 2015 and ‘dropped’ it.

In fact, Scotland Yard did NOT investigate the claim because they secretly introduced a policy ‘not to prove or disprove’ child sex allegations against dead people, The Mail on Sunday can disclose.

 Scroll down for video

Wiltshire Chief Constable Mike Veale (pictured)'s team did not investigate an 11-year-old boy's claim that he was abused by former Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath because of a policy not to look into cases involving dead people

Wiltshire Chief Constable Mike Veale (pictured)’s team did not investigate an 11-year-old boy’s claim that he was abused by former Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath because of a policy not to look into cases involving dead people

However Mr Veale’s team DID investigate it and found evidence that they say suggests it could be true.

The alleged victim of the rape, who is now 68 and went on to be convicted of child sex abuse crimes himself, complained to the Metropolitan Police in April 2015.

Four months later, the force said it had obtained a ‘full account’ from the complainant and, after a ‘full assessment of the allegation’, decided there were ‘no lines of inquiry that could be proportionately pursued’.

The statement was interpreted as meaning that the Met had carried out a full investigation and dismissed the claim as groundless – and was used to attack Mr Veale’s claim that the allegation was serious.

However, this newspaper can disclose that Scotland Yard did not investigate the matter because of its new policy on ‘response to allegations of sexual abuse against deceased suspects’ – which can be revealed for the first time.

In a statement to The Mail on Sunday, a Scotland Yard spokesperson said the rules state: ‘The purpose is not to prove or disprove the offence reported.’

Instead, the main aim is to find out if the suspect was linked to other abusers and prevent any ‘current risk to children’.

It adds: ‘A full and detailed criminal investigation may not be required to achieve this.’

By contrast, Mr Veale’s team was ordered to carry out a full investigation into the claims against Sir Edward, who died in 2005.

Rules set out last year by Operation Hydrant, the national police inquiry into all historic child sex abuse inquiries, said it was vital to ‘establish the facts and identify offenders deceased or not.

‘The closer to power, the greater is the duty to investigate.

Former Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath (pictured) died in 2005. Since his death it has been alleged he committed several sexual assaults against young boys 

Former Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath (pictured) died in 2005. Since his death it has been alleged he committed several sexual assaults against young boys

‘Due to Sir Edward’s prominence, it is particularly relevant to investigate allegations against him.’

Mr Veale’s supporters reject criticism for investigating complaints by ‘victims’ who may have gone on to abuse children themselves or were rent boys.

They highlighted research that suggests some people become abusers as a result of being abused themselves as young children.

A well-placed source said: ‘Wiltshire Police fully expected to discover the Heath claims were nonsense, and that if there was any evidence, it would be well hidden.

‘They were as surprised as anyone to find the evidence was there with telltale patterns of behaviour, but no one had really looked for it.

‘If, as they believe, some of the allegations are true, other police forces who failed to act in the past will have a lot to answer for.’

The controversy took a new twist yesterday after the alleged rape victim’s sister reportedly said her brother’s claims were a ‘crock of ****’. She is said to have called him a ‘born liar’.

Ted Heath would have been questioned over sex abuse allegations

 

October 8 2017 – “Ted Heath police chief: Now probe ‘cover-up’ in Westminster” – Mail on Sunday [Simon Walters] + “At last…a policeman who isn’t just a political pawn” [Maggie Oliver]

http://tapnewswire.com/2017/10/police-heath-was-pedocriminal-cover-up-slips-up/

Police – ‘Heath was pedocriminal’. Cover-up slips up.

Ted Heath police chief calls for a new inquiry into a Westminster child-sex ring ‘covered up’ by the Establishment

  • Wiltshire Police chief Mike Veale was formally accused of leading a ‘witch hunt’
  • Back at his desk in Devizes he called for an inquiry into ‘sinister’ claims
  • He attacked idea sex abuse of ‘rent boys’ was less serious than abuse of wealthy 

Mike Veale has spent two years being assailed by the Establishment over his investigation into paedophile allegations against Sir Edward Heath.

The Wiltshire Chief Constable has had to bite his lip as mandarins, ex-Cabinet Ministers, Tory MPs, peers, members of the judiciary and media moguls lambasted his controversial Operation Conifer.

He was accused of being ‘stupid’, leading a ‘witch-hunt’, and told he would be forced to resign the moment it saw the light of day.

The police chief has called for an investigation into claims of a child-sex ring being covered up by the establishment

The police chief has called for an investigation into claims of a child-sex ring being covered up by the establishment

Well, it did on Thursday – and 24 hours later he was back at his desk at Wiltshire Police HQ in Devizes.

In his first major interview since the release of a report which said seven child abuse allegations against Sir Edward – including the rape of an 11-year-old boy – would warrant questioning the former Prime Minister under caution were he still alive, Mr Veale:

  • Called for a new inquiry to ‘lance the boil’ of ‘sinister’ claims that a Westminster child-sex ring was covered up by the Establishment;
  • Said he could have spent ‘two or three’ more years investigating Sir Edward if his officers had been allowed to dig deeper;
  • Attacked ‘sickening’ suggestions that the sexual abuse of ‘rent boys’ and those ravaged by drugs or alcohol was less serious than cases involving ‘wealthy people from Middle England’.

Married Mr Veale, tall and with a rugby wing-forward’s build, is not an obvious candidate for membership of the Establishment.

Mike Veale was dismissed as stupid when he headed the investigation into crimes alleged to have been committed by the former prime minister

Mike Veale was dismissed as stupid when he headed the investigation into crimes alleged to have been committed by the former prime minister

The 51-year-old’s accent retains the soft burr of his Somerset childhood; he left Midsomer Norton secondary school aged 16 and spent ten years on the beat.

‘I’m a down-to-earth guy, my social circle is not wine bars and gin and tonics,’ he says, smiling, before adding: ‘But I’m a bit more astute than a dogged old cop.’ Just in case you think he is a yokel in a uniform, which he isn’t.

He says a ‘relentless campaign by the Establishment’ to undermine him over the Heath inquiry caused him ‘the most stress and soul-searching I’ve had in 30 years. There were some dark days’.

His features, as fair and fresh as a cider apple, strain as he grapples with his tormentor – that ‘inanimate object’, as he calls the Establishment.

‘It can be quite sinister. I was told early on in Conifer, “You’ll lose your job, the Establishment will get you”. I’m not a conspiracy theorist. I don’t believe in Martians. I used to think, “What are these people on about?” ’

Asked if the Heath inquiry had changed his mind, Mr Veale replies in a flash: ‘Yes.’

Is he really suggesting allegations of a wider Westminster paedophile ring – dismissed as fantasy after a separate inquiry into ex-Home Secretary Leon Brittan and others collapsed – could be true? Each word of his reply is delivered as carefully and as slowly as a PC stalking a burglar.

‘If any, if even one bit of this [Conifer] is true, what did the Government know, the Civil Service, the security services? Those questions need to be answered.’

Surely, though, it’s all hearsay?

Mike Veale attacked the idea that sex abuse of rent boys is less serious than that of wealthy people from Middle England

Mike Veale attacked the idea that sex abuse of rent boys is less serious than that of wealthy people from Middle England

He won’t have it and points to the recent decision by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse (IICSA) to extend its scope to include claims of an Establishment cover-up – significantly, after they learned of the Conifer findings.

Highly laudable, says Mr Veale, but so far IICSA has done zilch about actually investigating it.

‘It needs someone to look into the potential for cover-up or a conspiracy.

‘In the last two years I’ve spoken to people who genuinely believe… there are too many people making too many assertions… around the Establishment.

‘Compelling, intelligent people who have moved me.

‘The boil needs to be lanced one way or another. If there is nothing to hide, open the doors.’

Mike Veale said he could have spent ¿two or three¿ more years investigating Sir Edward if his officers had been allowed to dig deeper

Mike Veale said he could have spent ‘two or three’ more years investigating Sir Edward if his officers had been allowed to dig deeper

Frustratingly, he won’t say more, citing the confidentiality of his inquiry. But it has the ring of a job application, not to join the Establishment, rather to expose it.

Far from going on a ‘fishing operation’ against Sir Edward, as some have said, Mr Veale suggests he barely touched the surface.

‘The reason it is not a witch-hunt is because it could have gone on two or three years longer.’

Police investigated only victims who came forward, instead of seeking them out as they normally would.

Mr Veale’s inability to give details of each case or any corroboration to protect anonymity played into the hands of those who said the accusations against Sir Edward were flimsy.

But claims that Mr Veale was not thorough are unfair. He ordered regular independent scrutiny checks. He even copied the BBC TV series New Tricks, starring Dennis Waterman and Amanda Redman, about retired cops who investigate unsolved crimes. His team of 24 officers included eight hard-nosed retired detectives.

The old-fashioned country boy air about Mr Veale, whose black shoes gleam like a guardsman’s, is matched by a progressive policing more akin to Notting Hill than Midsomer Norton. ‘The old CID attitude to rape was sometimes “blame the woman”. That changed.

‘It’s the same with child sex abuse. Victims must be able to trust police.’

Nothing riles him more than the insinuation that allegations made by former rent boys should be treated with scepticism because of their background.

‘It rolls off people’s tongues that it’s somehow all right because it’s a rent boy,’ he fires back.

‘The rent boy is just a kid. My son is 14. I’d be mortified if he was trivialised like that.’

He rages at the notion that allegations from ‘people ravaged by drugs or alcohol have little credibility but if it’s from a Middle England or wealthy background it must be true’.

He says that he ‘nearly went through the TV’ in fury when a bulletin suggested ‘police should spend more time investigating allegations by genuine victims’.

He says: ‘The inference that unless they’re from Middle England then they’re not genuine sickened me.

‘I don’t give a monkey’s what background victims are from or what position in society they hold.

‘We treated them all with respect and dignity.’

At last… a policeman who isn’t just a political pawn: MAGGIE OLIVER says Ted Heath police chief gave a textbook demonstration of how forces should be free from political interference

It’s not often that I have a good word to say about police chiefs. Greater Manchester Police bosses forced me out of a job I loved and top brass everywhere are usually too busy doing the bidding of politicians.

But there are still a few who aren’t political pawns. One is Mike Veale, the inspirational Chief Constable of Wiltshire Police.

Mr Veale has given a textbook demonstration of how the police should be free from political interference and able to investigate crimes without fear or favour.

'Mr Veale has given a textbook demonstration of how the police should be free from political interference,' writes Maggie Oliver, who exposed the Rochdale grooming ring

‘Mr Veale has given a textbook demonstration of how the police should be free from political interference,’ writes Maggie Oliver, who exposed the Rochdale grooming ring

He has been subjected to fierce Establishment criticism for investigating sex abuse claims against former Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath.

Lesser police chiefs would have dropped the investigation by now, but not Mr Veale. He’s doing exactly what police chiefs should be doing – investigating serious complaints and not being deterred by the fact his force could arrive at a very inconvenient truth.

All too often, the threat of uncovering something politicians don’t want the public to know stops investigations in their tracks.

I know because it happened to me. As a detective for Greater Manchester Police, I spent years working on murders, rapes and child protection issues, helping eventually bring the Rochdale grooming gang to justice.

Maggie Oliver writes it was reasonable to investigate allegations from the time of Ted Heath, whose whip Tim Fortescue said he could never cover up a scandal involving small boys

Maggie Oliver writes it was reasonable to investigate allegations from the time of Ted Heath, whose whip Tim Fortescue said he could never cover up a scandal involving small boys

In 2004, I went to bosses and warned them that large numbers of Asian men were violently abusing white girls.

Even though I had strong evidence that would lead to convictions, the investigation was closed down. The police did not want to go there.

They were worried about damaging ‘community cohesion’. And the more I pushed for justice, the more I came under attack from bosses.

My chief constable said I was ‘too emotionally involved’. I was bullied, isolated and I eventually collapsed at work in a sergeant’s office due to severe stress.

I had no choice but to resign in order to speak out publicly and expose the truth. As a chief constable, Mr Veale is harder to silence and he is right to stand his ground.

Tim Fortescue, a Whip in Heath’s Government in the 1970s, boasted he could cover up a ‘scandal involving small boys’.

So there are very reasonable grounds to investigate allegations from this time.

I wish there were more like Mr Veale. When we return to a culture where police can follow the evidence without being petrified of the political consequences, we’ll all be better off for it.