To John Denham MP, Minister of State, Home Office
From Claire Curtis-Thomas MP 14nov01
[re: False allegations of sexual abuse]
Following our brief meeting llast night, what follows is a distillation of my concerns at this time.
The context in which I have formed my views
The United Kingdom’s tradition of policing by consent requires constant vigilance to ensure that public support for the police, their strategies and tactics and for the wider criminal justice system is properly maintained.
…. Ordinary citizens must be able to impact the system with their individual concerns. Where individual concerns aggregate naturally to indicate a generic or system issue then the system of accountability must be able to identify significant aggregates and the generic issues behind them, and respond appropriately.
…. We summarise the issues raised by these cases under the following general system headings:
- the role of the police in prompting or initiating proceedings in the absense of contemporaneous and/or timely complaints by victims;
- the role and regulationm of prison visits in this context;
- proportionality in the expenditure of police resources on this class of case
- the potential of Criminal Injuries Compensation and civil litigation in motivating the initiation of cases;
- the efficacy and effectiveness of police interviewing and file preparation; quality assurance and training issues;
- experience, expertise and tenmure of officers engaged in specialist investigation work; supervision of special squads;
- noble cause and simple corruption: monitoring and managing the risk in this context.
[My] Group will be working with academics and professionals, who have significant expertise in these areas. We will be examining cases ….
I am deeply concerned that the judicial process has been abused and distorted and along with other Members of Parliament I am eager to learn if this view can be substantiated. I look forward to meeting with you once again to discuss these issues.
Kindest Regards. Claire