Operation Hibiscus: The Truth(?), But Not The WHOLE Truth
Crime and Parliamentary Affairs Correspondent TIM HICK comments on the latest revelations by North Yorkshire Police.
For some time now, despite intimidation and threats from the Police and Scarborough Borough Council, the North Yorks Enquirer has been pursuing the truth.
We have consistently alleged that there was a major paedophile-ring operating in Scarborough from 1947 until about 2009 and that it included Jimmy Savile and Peter Jaconelli, the Mayor of Scarborough. We have alleged that his ring was the most successful paedophile ring in British criminal history, was connected to the Westminster paedophile ring, operated far beyond North Yorkshire, had international connections and was involved in trafficking and enticing young people into prostitution. It was successful because Jaconelli was protected by North Yorkshire Police, because he was a Scarborough Borough Councillor, County Councillor, millionaire businessman, Mayor, leading Scarborough Citizen who was a School Governor and ran the local Judo Club.
Operation Hibiscus, the investigation into these allegations, has now reported. North Yorkshire Police has now been forced to publicly admit that the most successful and longest-running paedophile-ring in British criminal history peacefully co-existed with North Yorkshire Police in Scarborough for forty years. It included Britain`s most prolific rapists and sex offenders Jimmy Savile and Peter Jaconelli, was connected to the Westminster paedophile-ring and operated openly with the full knowledge of North Yorkshire Police. The Force’s failure to arrest any of the members over the course of fifty years of relatively open offending, despite numerous complaints and reports, was inexcusable, a national scandal and deeply corrupt.
We believe that, over the course of its existence from 1947 until about 2009, the ring had thousands of victims and was much bigger and worse than the Rotherham or Rochdale rings.
North Yorkshire Police statement: Operation Hibiscus
North Yorkshire Police have today published this statement.
Operation Hibiscus: Investigation into allegations of historic sexual abuse by the late Scarborough mayor Peter Jaconelli and Jimmy Savile
North Yorkshire Police can today [Thursday 18 December 2014] confirm the findings of an investigation into allegations of historic sexual abuse made against the late Scarborough mayor Peter Jaconelli and Jimmy Savile.
Operation Hibiscus began on 14 February 2014. It was instigated following the broadcast of the regional TV news programme Inside Out, which prompted 35 people to come forward with reports of historic sexual abuse by Jaconelli and Savile.
32 of the cases related to Jaconelli for reported offences that occurred between1958 and 1998, and five to Savile that occurred between 1979 and 1988.
Each individual case was investigated by a team of experienced detectives. The victims have been directed to, and offered the support from, specialist victim support agencies.
The investigations have now come to a conclusion.
Sufficient evidence has been uncovered to suggest that, had they been alive today, files would have been submitted for consideration by the Crown Prosecution Service regarding potential criminal charges against Peter Jaconelli and Jimmy Savile, relating to young people.
However, it should be noted that it has not been possible to pursue those lines of enquiry which would have involved interviews with the individuals concerned, during which they may have disputed the allegations against them.
The reported offences linked to Jaconelli ranged from indecent assault, inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, gross indecency and rape.
For Savile, the reported offences ranged from sexual assault (or indecent assault under current law) to rape.
The investigation team has contacted the victims to explain the findings of the inquiry, and to ensure that they have continued access to all available support as victims of sexual abuse.
Assistant Chief Constable Paul Kennedy, of North Yorkshire Police, said: “The findings of Operation Hibiscus clearly suggest that there would have been sufficient evidence from 35 individual victims for the Crown Prosecution Service to consider criminal charges against Peter Jaconelli and Jimmy Savile, had they been alive today.
“The available information indicates that, historically, the police missed opportunities to look into allegations against these men whilst they were still alive.
“Today, North Yorkshire Police apologises to the victims who made the brave decision to come forward during the past 18 months.”
ACC Kennedy added: “It is important that the victims have been able to make their allegations heard, and that their cases have been comprehensively examined by the police, regardless of the passage of time.
“It is a matter of great regret that, from the outset of the investigation, there was no prospect of true justice being achieved as the suspects are deceased.
“However, I hope the victims have gained a measure of closure from knowing that matters have now been investigated as fully as possible by North Yorkshire Police.
“It is never too late to report information to the police and seek help and support. Nobody should suffer in silence.”
Any victim of sexual abuse is urged to contact North Yorkshire Police on 101.
Always dial 999 if you are in immediate danger or your safety is threatened.
Victims can also seek independent advice, support and services from Bridge House, North Yorkshire’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC). Please call 01904 669339 or visit www.turntobridgehouse.org
The IPCC is conducting an independent investigation linked to this issue after North Yorkshire Police made a voluntary referral in April 2014.
It relates to how North Yorkshire Police responded in 2012 to information about alleged offences committed by Jimmy Savile in the 1970s. And how North Yorkshire Police responded to several allegations made recently regarding former Scarborough resident Peter Jaconelli (who died in 1999), approximately nine years after Jaconelli’s death.
Other matters were also voluntarily referred to the IPCC, namely whether any information North Yorkshire Police held on record about Savile or his known associates, was properly and comprehensively disclosed to Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary (HMIC) when it and other police forces in England and Wales were asked to do so by HMIC in December 2012. And whether information was properly and comprehensively disclosed in response to a request by the IPCC in May 2013.
Following consideration, the IPCC decided to refer these matters back to North Yorkshire Police to investigate and rectify.
Assistant Chief Constable Paul Kennedy said: “A comprehensive investigation into these matters has now been completed by the Professional Standards Department.
“It concluded that there was no evidence of misconduct but there was evidence of organisational failure, with a number of lessons to be learned which have now been rectified for the future.
“This included actions such as clearly defining search parameters when checking historical records and ensuring that the appropriate department conducts such searches. Furthermore all operational meetings must be recorded, ensuring a full audit trail of decision-making throughout the process for openness and transparency.
“Whilst there were failings to report somerelevant information to the HMIC and IPCC, there is no evidence to suggest North Yorkshire Police failed in its responsibility to support Operation Yewtree, the national investigation concerning Savile.”
ACC Kennedy added: “North Yorkshire Police is continuing to take a very proactive stance on matters to do with historical sexual abuse.
“Just last week, our Professional Standards Department made an additional voluntary referral to the IPCC following enquires linked to the Jaconelli and Savile investigation in Scarborough during the 1980s. The IPCC has referred the matter back to North Yorkshire Police to investigate and we will issue a further update in due course when the line of enquiry has been completed.
“If we receive any new information to suggest that allegations made in years past were not properly followed up and investigated, we will take all necessary steps to put things right on behalf of victims.
“The public should be able to trust in its police service, and we are doing everything we can to be open and transparent about how we are dealing with historic sexual abuse cases whilst respecting the privacy of victims.”
This is a shameful and disgraceful climb down, following a well-organised and skilful cover-up over the course of the last two years. In the statement, NYP concede that Jaconelli and Savile operated in joint enterprise together in a ring – as the North Yorks Enquirer and many local people have alleged for over two years, despite strenuous denials by North Yorkshire Police.
Operation Hibiscus was led by Detective Superintendent Steve Smith, Director of the Force Intelligence Bureau, the Department recently castigated over the Operation Spade fiasco and responsible for the loss of information on Savile and Jaconelli. In the statement there is no mention or apparent investigation of:
The intelligence collected on Savile, Jaconelli and Corrigan during the major paedophile investigation in 2003.
School children being enticed into prostitution by Jaconelli using his position as a School Governor.
The other members of the ring, including one woman known to have acted as procurer and another suspected of it.
Trafficking of patients from Rampton Hospital by Savile, to meet Jaconelli and Corrigan.
The Ippon Judo Club offending.
Offending at Jaconelli´s Ice cream parlours.
Offending at the schools Jaconelli was Governor of.
Trafficking of children for prostitution in motor homes.
The sleep-over at the boy scout camp in a motor home.
Children being trafficked to Queen Elisabeth II Barracks for prostitution and covert photography
Trafficking in paedophile pornography to the Dutch sex industry.
No cold case review of unsolved sexual offences from 1947 to 2009.
The connections of the Scarborough ring to the Westminster paedophile ring.
If Jaconelli was on the dossier passed by the late Geoffrey Dickens MP to Whitby MP Leon Brittan, who was also Home Secretary at the same time Jaconelli was a leading member of his Conservative Association.
The Middle Earth Tavern and Jimmy`s/the Penthouse Club.
The Metropolitan Police investigation into the alleged murder of three children (Operation Midland), which the police know may be connected.
No cold case review of unsolved disappearances of children.
How all of this intelligence information miraculously disappeared when it was inconvenient to admit that it existed. But has now miraculously reappeared when the police are forced to admit the truth by witnesses coming forward.
The threats to one of the journalists (yours truly) who first raised this, implicating officers of North Yorkshire Police in a cover up.
Operation Hibiscus is, in fact, the FIFTH investigation into Savile by North Yorkshire Police.
The other four North Yorkshire Police investigations
The first investigation denied that Savile had any connection to Scarborough at all. Quote:
“When the allegations surrounding Jimmy Savile were publicised, we carried out extensive searches of force records which did not reveal a local connection”.
This was despite the fact that he lived openly in Scarborough and had even attended an event for young people in 2008, organised by North Yorkshire Police, where he shared the platform with the Chief Constable. They even provided him with his own personal squad car and a police driver to chauffeur him around, even though he was under investigation by Surrey and Sussex Police for serious sexual offences at that same time.
This can only have been a deliberate lie so that North Yorkshire Police could evade responsibility for its part in the Jimmy Savile scandal. As soon as Real Whitby investigative-journalists (now with the North Yorks Enquirer) started to investigate this claim, it miraculously disappeared from the North Yorkshire Police web-site.
As a result of this deliberately misleading statement, North Yorkshire Police were excluded from the enquiries by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary, that had been ordered by the Home Secretary – although they absolutely should have been included in it.
Following publication of the HMIC report, which did not include any reference at all to North Yorkshire Police, the Home Secretary then made this statement to the House of Commons:
“In particular, I asked that the review establish clearly which forces received reports or allegations in respect of Savile and related individuals prior to the launch of Operation Yewtree on 5 October 2012. For each of those forces, I asked HMIC to review the extent to which the allegations were robustly investigated and whether there were any police failings in doing so. HMIC have concluded their review and today published their report. A copy will be placed in the House Library. [My emphasis in bold]. HMIC conducted enquiries in all 43 police forces in England and Wales, and liaised with HMIC Scotland and the States of Jersey Police. Their review finds that, as far as police records disclose, five allegations of child sexual assault were made against Savile to the police between 1958 and 2009. In addition to these recorded allegations, the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has traced two historical intelligence entries relating to Savile.”
In fact, Real Whitby has established that North Yorkshire Police had received multiple reports of sexual offences by Savile and Jaconelli and ignored them. However, by issuing the statement that Savile had “no local connection to Scarborough” North Yorkshire Police conveniently excluded this evidence from Operation Yewtree and the HMIC investigations.
Consequently the Home Secretary was deliberately deceived by North Yorkshire Police into herself, in turn, misleading Parliament in her statement.
Information on the first four investigations, each one of which was a cover up are detailed here. Investigations 1 – 4
The most blatant cover-up was the investigation by Assistant Chief Constable Sue Cross, which now stands completely discredited. Cross Report here
Our collaboration with the BBC Inside Out program, culminating in an excellent documentary by Chris Jackson and his team, forced North Yorkshire Police to start Operation Hibiscus, which has reported today. BBC Investigation here
However, the full truth has still not come out.
No Police Officer has as yet suffered any action for the cover-up or for misleading Parliament. There is no mention in the report of any criminal charges or disciplinary action being taken against:
Assistant Chief Constable Sue Cross, although it is now clear that her report was a whitewash and she deliberately suppressed evidence to pervert the course of an IPCC investigation, which was a corrupt act. It is particularly despicable, given that some members of the ring may still be alive and her dismissal of the allegations and exoneration of Jaconelli, will have been deeply hurtful to many of his victims.
Mr Moir Stewart of the IPCC, who ignored blatant evidence of corruption in the North Yorkshire Police investigation, to exonerate them.
The Chief Constable and the Press Officer that issued the Press Release denying Savile had any connections to North Yorkshire, which deliberately misled Parliament and perverted the course of the HMIC and Metropolitan Police (Operation Yewtree) investigations.
The Head(s) of Force Intelligence who failed to collect or collate intelligence and/or failed to pass it on to other forces. Thereby preventing the conviction of Savile and deliberately dooming their investigations to failure and permitting Savile to escape justice.
The Councillors, Council Officials, School Governors and School Teachers that all knew about Jaconelli, but still allowed him to be a School Governor. A position he used to introduce Savile to the schools and to corrupt children.
The various Police Officers in Scarborough and Whitby Police station who knew all about Jaconelli and his ring, but protected him nonetheless.
The rôle of Scarborough Borough Council
Questions also have to be asked of Scarborough Borough Council:
Following his spirited defence of child abuser and rapist Councillor Peter Jaconelli in the Council chamber, does Councillor Bill Chatt still stand by his remarks?
Does Councillor Tom Fox Leader of Scarborough Borough Council, (formerly Chief Inspector Tom Fox, the Officer commanding policing in Scarborough) deny knowing anything at all about the Jaconelli ring, during his entire Police career in Scarborough – given that every schoolboy and parent knew Jaconelli was openly abusing children?
Did Borough Solicitor Mrs Lisa Dixon make false allegations of criminal offences and libel against myself and three other innocent men, lie to the BBC, Whitby Town Council and the Real Whitby ISP to have the site “terminated”, (which, when challenged, she was unable to substantiate), in order to:
Prevent inconvenient questions being asked generally by restricting free speech and imposing censorship on the press.
Prevent the exposure of Councillor Jaconelli by our investigation.
Prevent the exposure of Councillor Jane Kenyon-Miller (Former Chair of the North Yorkshire Police Authority) as a double-dipper and international tax-fraudster.
Prevent any further difficult questions for double-dipper Councillor Tom Fox over Jaconelli?
5. Some/All of the above?
Who ordered the termination of the Real Whitby website, which would have prevented today´s disclosures about Councillor Jaconelli (Conservative). Was it Councillor Fox (Conservative), or Councillor Kenyon-Miller (Conservative) or some other Councillor?
Will Mrs Dixon, Councillor Fox, Councillor Kenyon-Miller and Councillor Chatt be resigning?
The big picture
The major failures to arrest Savile and wind up the Westminster and Scarborough paedophile-rings all occurred in North Yorkshire.
1. The failure by Police Officers that served in Scarborough and Whitby to arrest Jaconelli – although his offending was common knowledge in Scarborough going back to the 1950’s- which would surely have led the Police to Savile.
2. The failure to arrest Savile as a result of allegations, made by witnesses to the NYE, that Scarborough Police had received about Savile going back to the 1970’s.
3. The failure to properly investigate information it now admits it received from a 15-year-old girl in 2002 regarding Savile.
4. The failure of North Yorkshire Police to investigate allegations about Jaconelli it received in December 2008 and January 2009.
5. The failure by the Force Intelligence Bureau to pass on the intelligence held on Savile to Surrey Police in 2007, instead giving him a clean bill of health, which ensured the failure of the Surrey investigation.
6. The failure by the Force Intelligence Bureau to pass on intelligence to the Metropolitan Police Operation Yewtree in 2012, on Savile and Jaconelli.
North Yorkshire Police knew all about the Scarborough ring – yet it did nothing. It now emerges that had North Yorkshire Police arrested Jaconelli or Savile, it would have led them straight to the Westminster paedophile ring as well.
This no doubt explains why senior officers were so anxious to prevent any media investigation.
The NYE investigation and the associated coverage from the BBC and Private Eye, forced North Yorkshire Police to open Operation Hibiscus, its belated and much resisted investigation into Jimmy Savile and Peter Jaconelli.
Rather than admit the truth –which was that the largest and most successful paedophile ring in British criminal history had operated in Scarborough and beyond for fifty years with its full knowledge and consent- the North Yorkshire Police Force Intelligence Bureau gave Savile a clean bill of health to the Surrey and Sussex Police investigations. By withholding the intelligence it had undoubtedly developed on him, it undoubtedly ensured the failure of the Surrey and Sussex investigations and that Savile escaped justice.
This probably explains the refusal of the vast majority of victims to come forward, knowing that North Yorkshire Police does not want an impartial investigation.
An essential quality in any Chief Police Officer is the capacity to face up to misconduct in his force and deal with it. The Chief Officers in North Yorkshire Police are incapable of doing this. Hence the Cross Report and the attempt obviously authorized at the highest levels of North Yorkshire Police to abuse police powers to prevent lawful press, parliamentary and HMIC scrutiny, and put themselves above the law.
Police Officers like Assistant Chief Constable Cross are not fit for employment in the public service in any capacity.
The only reason that North Yorkshire Police have had to make these incredible admissions today, thereby bringing us closer to the truth is because of the oversight over the police of a free press, despite a determined attempt by powerful people backed up with unlimited public funds to silence it. Further evidence of the need for a free press in a democratic society.
The full truth has yet to come out. Nor will it, so long as North Yorkshire Police is continually allowed to investigate itself.