Operation Midland Finally Closes Down

From the Metropolitan Police:

A man in his 60s who was previously interviewed under caution has today, Monday 21 March, been advised by officers working on Operation Midland that he will face no further action.

Operation Midland has now closed.

In October 2014, the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) received allegations of a serious nature involving murder and sexual assault made by a single individual. The allegations concerned non-recent matters over a 10 year period (1975-1984) at a number of locations.

The credibility of the allegations was assessed after a process involving extended questioning of the complainant by specialist child protection detectives.

…The allegations included the potential homicide of three boys. The complainant identified one of these as resembling a boy called Martin Allen who disappeared in November 1979.

In the course of the investigation, officers have not found evidence to prove that they were knowingly misled by a complainant. The MPS does not investigate complainants simply on the basis that their allegations have not been corroborated…

This understates the extravagance of the complainant’s allegations: “Nick”, as he is known to the media, accused Harvey Proctor of being part of a murderous VIP paedophile ring that also included former Prime Minister Ted Heath, and he accused the former head of the British Army, Lord Bramall, of presiding over Remembrance Day paedophilic orgies at which Remembrance poppies were pinned into Nick’s skin as a form of torture (an obvious “secular” variant on Satanic Ritual Abuse). It also glosses over how Nick’s story grew over the years, also incorporating Jimmy Savile, Greville Janner, and Leon Brittan.

In this context, the decision to emphasize the continuing tragic mystery of Martin Allen looks like a cynical attempt to make the investigation look more grounded in reality than it ever was. It should also be remembered that police were particularly impressed by Nick’s apparent ability to recall details of a military base – a location that he had actually visited as a tourist in 2013. That looks like reasonable evidence of the police being “knowingly misled by a complainant.”

The police has been very slow to back down from its initial assessment that Nick’s claims were “credible and true”: Operation Midland was folded into Operation Fairbank (a more general investigation into claims of VIP abuse) in October 2015; the case against Lord Bramall was dropped in mid-January; and reports predicting the investigation’s imminent demise appeared during February. Details of today’s announcement were leaked the media on Friday. Today’s outcome has been inevitable for months.

The news will of course be met with scepticism by those who have invested in “Nick’s” story as irrefutable evidence of the establishment’s complete and utter moral turpitude – oddly putting aside any critical thinking about the police and the legal system while attempting to strike an anti-establishment pose. In a world where David Icke fill halls, it requires little cognitive adjustment to see a failed investigation as simply further evidence of the establishment’s supposed power.

Thus Exaro News, which accompanied Nick to the police in 2014, has announced that the investigation “has been halted”, a form of expression obviously meant to imply a countervailing force – Exaro‘s Mark Watts previously denounced criticism of Operation Midland as an “unprecedented campaign, in plain sight, to halt a police investigation that the establishment fears.”

I’m all for “holding power to account”, to use Exaro‘s masthead slogan; but power is not a monopoly and there is more than one “establishment”. In this instance, we’ve seen the power of the false accuser – and it should worry everyone.

UPDATE: It is worth adding something about the Martin Allen disappearance. The Met Statement has the detail that:

In the course of seeking evidence which could corroborate or indeed disprove the initial allegations, more individuals came forward to provide additional information to Operation Midland. They were interviewed in September 2015. The allegations included further information relating to the disappearance of Martin Allen. This generated new lines of inquiry which have had to be thoroughly investigated.

Martin Allen’s disappearance in London in 1979 is one of those cases that has remained in the public consciousness ever since. A book was published in 1984, and articles about the subject have appeared periodically over the years. In particular, there was renewed press interest in 2009, the 30th anniversary. Many of these reports included photographs of Martin Allen; Nick’s ability to describe him, therefore, is not evidence that he ever met him.

Martin Allen was linked to Nick’s claims at an early stage; the Independent reported in November 2014:

His brother Kevin, 51, has said he was called by Detective Chief Inspector Diane Tudway of the Metropolitan Police on Friday, who told him she was investigating whether Martin’s disappearance is linked to an alleged ring made up of MPs and senior figures of authority.

Operation Midland, the investigation into the deaths, was set up this month and officers said that Operation Fairbank intelligence has led them to look into whether high-profile officials were involved in organised child sex abuse and murder in the 1970s and 1980s at locations including the Elm Guest House in Barnes, southwest London…

The case of Martin Allen’s disappearance was closed in the 1980s, but reopened in 2009 and shut again last year.

Kevin Allen said he had been told first that files relating to the case had been destroyed in a flood, and then that a retired police officer had taken them to Spain. However, these files were apparently recovered in April 2015.

The Evening Standard had further details in May 2015:

The police phoned [Kevin Allen] after the Daily Telegraph ran a story about Nick’s account last November [2014]. “They said, ‘Your brother is 80 per cent one of the three kids who were murdered’, and I said, ‘’What are you talking about?’ I didn’t hear anything else from them for 70 days then we had a meeting.’

However, ITV News now reports a statement by Kevin Allen:

“…The team only spoke to me once back in February when they informed me my brother’s case was part of the inquiry and asked for a photograph of him. I have not heard from them since…”

Presumably he means February 2015 rather than February 2016, by which time Lord Bramall had been cleared and the operation was on its last legs. February 2015 also fits better with the “70 days” timeframe after initial contact in November 2014.

Kevin Allen maintains that Operation Midland “was closed by the highest order”, obviously implying corruption. He has also alleged that a police officer warned him some time ago that he might get “hurt” if he kept alleging a cover up.

UPDATE 2019: “Nick” has now been revealed to be a man named Carl Beech. His allegations have been comprehensively exposed as lies, and he has been found guilty of perverting the course of justice and fraud. He was also found to be in possession of a collection of child-abuse images, and to have used a hidden camera to film the teenage friend of his son using a toilet. For more, see here.

4 Responses

  1. It is astonishing that any reasonable person could find Nick’s extravagant allegations credible. The police should learn from this disastrous operation that there is something seriously wrong with the reasoning processes of the “specialist child protection detectives” who assessed his interviews: a past tendency to treat all complaints from children as nonsense, can not be corrected by substituting a tendency to believe all nonsense provided the complaint is of child sexual abuse. There should now be a searching re-examination of police practice for Attaining Best Evidence – and it must include rooting individuals who patently are unfit for the role. This is no time for the Metropolitan Police to put up the shutters, as is all too likely: the same sad mistakes will inevitably be repeated, if that is their reaction.

    This goose chase has undermined the authority of the Police. More importantly, it has diverted attention from the uncomfortable reality that the vast majority of child sexual abuse happens within families; the prime perpetrators are not Generals and DJs, dignitaries and celebrities: they are Mum and Dad – the former’s acquiescence often facilitating the latter’s crime.

  2. The Anton Gill book on the Martin Allen case is rather good,a fair and sensitive account of both the family and the police, and the sometimes ambivalent relations between them. Not a mention of a Westminster abuse ring . It does refer to an attempt by the tabloid press to link the disappearance to the later arrest of Denis Nilsen. Fashions in bogeymen change and the scare story of the time was serial killers rather than paedophile rings.

    • I agree. It rambles on somewhat but is a very illuminating read. I found of particular interest the fact that Martin cleaned cars at Joe Dunton Cameras and not the chauffeurs cars as the brother has claimed recently.

  3. […] Britain: following collapse of lengthy Operation Midland law enforcement inquiry into a fantasist’s wild tales of abuse (did senior Tories murder rentboys for fun?) vindicated officials and their families wonder where to turn to get their reputations back [Dan Hodges/Telegraph (citing Metropolitan Police commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe’s favorable reference to a second official’s statement that “The presumption that a victim should always be believed should be institutionalized”); Matthew Scott/Barrister Blogger, Richard Bartholomew] […]

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