MEP calls for national inquiry into historic cases of child sex abuse

Richard Howitt
Richard Howitt

East of England Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Richard Howitt backed calls this week for a national inquiry into historic cases of child sex abuse.

The Labour man – whose constituency covers Herts – became the first MEP to join a list of more than 100 politicians making a cross-party call for a public inquiry.

This could suggest a number of high profile media and other public figures being implicated following the case of Jimmy Savile may simply be ‘the tip of the iceberg’.

Mr Howitt – an official champion for the anti-child sex abuse Internet Watch Foundation – says he hopes the pressure will force the Home Secretary to set up a full, properly-resourced investigation into the failure of the police to follow the evidence in a number of historic cases of child sexual abuse.

He insisted that more victims could be identified if an independent panel is created with powers to demand the release of documents from every agency involved in investigating abuse claims.

He said: “The emerging cases show that there are victims who have suffered for too long, and justice requires the setting up of an inquiry without any further delay.

“I am concerned that some alleged abusers have been treated as ‘off limits’ by the police because of their high-profile personalities and stardom.

“The indication is that key evidence in child abuse cases may have been lost and I believe a panel must examine why detailed dossiers have disappeared and why police surveillance videos said to be of prominent people who have been involved in paedophile rings have gone missing?

“I am sorry that the Home Secretary is currently refusing this request but hope that overwhelming pressure from across the political spectrum can change her mind.”