High-level probes into VIP paedophile networks were shut down as police closed in on a number of powerful figures, former officers claim.
In an extraordinary development, detectives have turned whistleblower to expose how undercover operations were suddenly “canned”.
Almost 30 officers have been venting their anger online – heaping pressure on the probe by Scotland Yard and the Government into widespread claims of historic sexual abuse.
One former officer called Jim wrote: “This is about kids being raped by those in power that included politicians of all sorts.
“It goes to the very heart of our establishment.”
The allegations surfaced during a four-month investigation by the Exaro news website into a secret members-only chat forum used by former and serving Metropolitan Police officers.
Use of the locked forum is vetted so that only people who have worked in or closely alongside the force can join or see the discussions.
Along with the officers and a sixth man – a government worker who signed the Official Secrets Act – a further 11 policemen claimed colleagues had told them of similar cover-ups.
One, who said his investigation into a paedophile ring was shut down, claimed: “As the operation expanded up the greasy pole of high society, the job got canned.”
We have protected the identities of the whistleblowers – some of whom claim that surveillance officers watching a paedophile ring even led them to fellow officers and a string of lawyers.
An officer with two decades of service claimed his crime squad at a station in central London was shut down because it got too close to the establishment.
And a retired sergeant with 30 years’ service said evidence of abuse from a notorious care home was “destroyed” and a detective on the case was discredited by “corrupt politicians”, “corrupt high- ranking officers” and “religious people”.
A government worker using the false name Jonathan claimed: “The cover-up began in 1985 when operations were closed for no apparent reason except prominent persons were allegedly involved, and again in 1990 and again over the North Wales child abuse.
“Successive governments continued the practice, so don’t hold your breath that anything will change any time soon.”
The web discussions began in July after an officer posted newspaper claims, by child protection campaigner Chris Fay, that there had been a cover-up.
Mr Fay, of the now-defunct National Association of Young People in Care, said he was warned off claims surrounding Elm Guest House in Barnes, South West London – the alleged VIP boys brothel.
Responding to claims that Mr Fay was threatened at gunpoint, an officer known as Samantha, who had jobs including surveillance during a 27-year career, said: “I believe it. I know of instances where Special Branch crossed boundaries any police officer would find abhorrent.
“They did feel the rules didn’t apply to them. I and others have seen and heard or been present when things have been glossed over, hidden or destroyed.”
A policeman called Matthew wrote to another officer: “Dave, I don’t know if you were on 8 Tactical Support Group when we did the surveillance op on the paedophile ring but all we were following were lawyers and police officers. Oddly as the op expanded up the greasy pole of high society the job got canned.”
The axed probe took place in the late 1980s and was in a spin-off from Operation Circus, a Met investigation into the abuse of vulnerable boys lured from the so-called Chicken Rack – an area near Piccadilly Circus Tube station.
In August, a claim emerged from Bob, another retired sergeant with 30 years’ service. He cites a quashed probe into a care home mentioned in the Press in connection with alleged abuse by VIPs.
He wrote: “My position is from first-hand, knowing what the government and high ranking officers did to a DC who possessed solid evidence. They destroyed the poor fella, all evidence was destroyed or disappeared. Yes, it involved the care home we are all reading about.”
In October, former detective constable Stevie claimed: “In the 90s a middle-class paedo ring was uncovered at KF (Newham police station). It linked into a massive undercover paedo job run by (police officer’s name removed). The UC found it went to Cabinet level and four years of work was pulled overnight.”
A total of 11 officers who say they heard second or third-hand of cover-ups make a series of similar allegations, including the existence of a secret file dating to the 1960s of abuse claims against a celebrity recently linked to alleged historic abuse.
And it was claimed Special Branch shut down an operation linking high-placed establishment figures with abuse in 1986 or 1987, destroying all evidence.
Officers claim Operation Hedgerow – a probe which saw a barrister, a company director and others jailed over widespread abuse of vulnerable boys in 1989 – had “got very close to Parliament”.
They also claimed Operation Ore, which snared child porn perverts through credit card payments to sick websites in the early 2000s, had its “wings clipped”.
In a discussion thread in July, a Met officer called Dale wrote: “About time Op Ore was resurrected. It was squashed due to political pressure. A good time to bring it back. Should ruffle feathers.”
Frank, who served in the Met before moving to the US, added: “Op Ore had its wings clipped from the beginning. It’s time to remove political interference.”
Adam, in the Met for 30 years, replied: “Hedgerow might be more interesting, got very close to Parliament.”