As well as my strong emotional reaction to the stories it also felt as if a light went on in my head about an idea I'd already been thinking about, If I were a paedophile how would I protect my own?
The question that burst into my head was this:
Were Home Office priorities designed to protect paedophiles nationwide?
The section of one of the Nick Davies articles that I want to focus on in this post is here:
For senior officers at Avon and Somerset police, the big problem was the Home Office, which now steers police activity with a list of "best value performance indicators", on which each force is judged. There are 37 of them. But there is nothing anywhere in any of them about child abuse. By diverting resources into Operation Panorama, Avon and Somerset was risking its corporate neck.The quote is from this article: A terraced street in suburbia that shrouded a guilty secret
The question that I can't get out of my mind is this:
Could the absence of child abuse in Home Office priorities be a deliberate ploy designed by a closet paedophile in the Home Office?
If, and it is an "if", there was a closet paedophile in the Home Office making sure (or maximising the chance) that child abuse was absent from the list of national priorities that would be a fantastic way to minimise or prevent investigation of child abuse cases nationwide.
Police forces were steered towards the Home Office priorities and away from investigation of non-priority areas such as child abuse.
Senior Police officers were, I understand, judged on their performance in relation to these Home Office targets.
So they, as a group. would tend to steer resources in their force to investigations that related to Home Office priorities.
And they, as a group, would tend to steer resources in their force away from investigtions into non-priority areas such as paedophilia.
Senior officers would view as peripheral investigations into child abuse.
So child abuse investigations, even where they were allowed to start in any Police force, would tend to be starved of resources and would be more likely to run into the sand.
The predictable result was that child abusers around the country would be safer, because the Home Office priorities would, in effect, steer every Police force in the country away from investigating child abuse.
Do I have any evidence that there was a closet paedophile in the Home Office? No, I don't.
However, the potential importance of premeditated nationawide obstruction of child abuse investigations by such a "simple" policy decision convinces me that a worthwhile Child Abuse Inquiry must examine this issue with a fine tooth comb.
When did discussions about such targets take place?
Are such meetings minuted?
Has the correspondence been retained?
Which individuals, if any, proposed that child abuse shouldn't be a priority?
Who took the final decisions about what should or should not be Home Office priorities?
Do such discussions or correspondence date back to Leon Brittan's time at the Home Office?
I think these are important questions for a worthwhile Child Abuse Inquiry to address. Don't you?