Leon Brittan told MP ‘police don’t always need names of those receiving indecent porn’
Leon Brittan said in 1984: “I do not think Customs should supply to the police names and addresses of everyone receiving obscene or indecent articles, regardless of whether an offence has been established”
He said in a letter to Geoffrey Dickens it depended on whether an offence had been established and mere postal receipt of indecent articles was not sufficient evidence.
Lord Brittan was responding to a whistleblower’s concerns raised by the MP that intercepted paedophile material had been destroyed without any proper investigation.
The then Home Secretary wrote: “I do not think Customs should supply to the police names and addresses of everyone receiving obscene or indecent articles, regardless of whether an offence has been established.”
He added it was usual practice for border officials to seize intercepted abusive images of children without informing the police.
He wrote: “Simply to be the addressee of a postal package is not evidence of an offence.”
He added: “This is what happened in the case referred to by your correspondent where Customs seized and destroyed the photographs and slides but did not have the necessary evidence to prosecute.”
Lord Brittan said six paedophiles were prosecuted in 1983 including people in “responsible positions”, where there was sufficient evidence.
The “Allegations of Paedophilia” letter is in an annex of this week’s report into an alleged Home Office cover-up of child abuse allegations.
It is included in NSPCC chief Peter Wanless’s findings that Home Office records were so shambolic it was “impossible” to see what happened to files.
These included Mr Dickens’ alleging a paedophile ring linked to MPs