“Operation Countryman II” (5): Jaconelli: NYP responds
In my last article on corruption in North Yorkshire Police, I finished with the following passage:
“Following on from the blatantly perverse West Yorkshire Police investigation, in which that force exonerated itself from any responsibility for its failure to arrest Savile and which has been widely condemned as a disgraceful whitewash, I wrote to the Metropolitan Police, the IPCC, Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire and Chief Constable Madgwick of North Yorkshire Police asking for the investigation to be conducted independently by officers from another force.
The IPCC and Metropolitan Police passed the correspondence to North Yorkshire Police, the investigation is to be conducted by the North Yorkshire Police Professional Standards Directorate. So in summary, North Yorkshire Police are now investigating themselves, in the same way as the West Yorkshire Police did. Real Whitby will keep you posted on the outcome of their investigation, but I confidently predict another whitewash. We shall see.”
Well, we have now had a response from North Yorkshire Police and my words transpired to be prophetic.
The Wall of silence
- On the 13th of February 2013 Mr Trevor Harrington alleged formally to Scarborough Borough Council that Peter Jaconelli was a predatory paedophile and the police knew all about his offending. The Council passed the allegations to North Yorkshire Police, but Mr Harrington has had no response from the Police. In short, witness evidence of offending and Police misconduct within the remit of the second tier of Operation Yewtree has been ignored and suppressed by North Yorkshire Police.
- On the 20th of February 2013 Scarborough Borough Councillor Geoff Evans also alleged formally to Scarborough Borough Council that Peter Jaconelli was a predatory paedophile and the police knew all about him. The Council passed the allegations to North Yorkshire Police, but Councillor Evans has had no response from the Police and North Yorkshire Police refused to comment on the press articles. In short, witness evidence of offending and Police misconduct within the remit of the second tier of Operation Yewtree has been ignored and suppressed by North Yorkshire Police.
- On the 18th of February 2013 Nigel Ward asked former the leader of SBC Councillor Tom Fox (formerly the Chief Inspector in charge of policing for Scarborough) the following question “What is the intention of the Leader in respect of the many serious allegations, every bit as horrific as those against Jimmy Savile, against former Councillor and Mayor Peter Jaconelli, in respect of his status as Alderman of the Borough. Is there a process in train for the Council to adopt the same approach as in the Savile case?” He received no response.
- On the 27th of April 2013 I wrote to Operation Yewtree stating that Mr Harrington had heard nothing back about his complaint and this led me to conclude that North Yorkshire Police were ignoring the evidence of offending by Jaconelli (as they did when he was alive), to prevent the investigation of allegations of misconduct by its own Officers. I received no response.
- On the 11th of May 2013 I wrote to Detective Chief Inspector Orchard of Operation Yewtree raising concerns about the integrity of any investigation conducted into Jimmy Savile by North Yorkshire Police and asking that it be conducted by another Force. I received no response.
- On the 11th of May 2013 I also wrote to Chief Constable Madgwick asking for another Force to be called in to conduct the Jimmy Savile investigation, asserting that for some time witnesses have alleged that there was institutionalised corruption in North Yorkshire Police; which allowed Peter Jaconelli and Jimmy Savile to offend unhindered in Scarborough because of their local and national status. The complaints from Mr Harrington and Councillor Evans were sent to North Yorkshire Police by Scarborough Borough Council at the time, however no action has been taken and neither complainant has been contacted. Chief Constable Madgwick did not respond.
- On the 16th of May 2013, I submitted a complaint to the IPCC. The text is as follows:
“North Yorkshire Police were fully aware of the offending of Peter Jaconelli and did nothing to prevent him having access to children or to arrest him because he was the Mayor of Scarborough, a prominent business man and an influential conservative politician.
Had North Yorkshire Police investigated Peter Jaconelli, it would have led them to the other members of the ring including Jimmy Savile and its failure to apply the law without fear or favour to Jaconelli allowed Savile to escape justice.
North Yorkshire Police were aware of the offending of Corrigan and Savile, and did nothing to arrest them because of Savile’s media status.
North Yorkshire Police had extensive knowledge of Peter Jaconelli’s offending (every schoolboy, teacher and Councillor in Scarborough was also aware) and that of Savile and Corrigan, and that all three were close associates. This information was not entered into the police intelligence systems to protect Jaconelli and conceal the failure of North Yorkshire Police to arrest him.
That in response to an enquiry from Surrey Police in 2007, North Yorkshire Police Force Intelligence Bureau did not respond fully and properly to this enquiry with the information it had or should have had.
That in the period 2007 – Savile’s death in 2011, despite knowing that Surrey Police were investigating Savile, North Yorkshire Police Force Intelligence Bureau continued this policy of withholding information.
That North Yorkshire Police failed to search key locations or interview key witnesses once news of Savile’s offending was known.
That North Yorkshire Police and West Yorkshire Police have ignored legitimate enquiries asking for confirmation that no member of North Yorkshire Police ever socialised inappropriately or attended any meetings of the Friday Morning Club in Leeds, when both forces had a duty to address public concerns over the contacts between police officers from North Yorkshire and Jimmy Savile.”
- On the 18th of May 2013, I also wrote to the Mrs Julia Mulligan, Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire, asking her to support an investigation by another Force. Mrs Mulligan did not respond either.
- Also on the 18th of May 2013, I wrote to North Yorkshire Police asking it to confirm if Officers of North Yorkshire Police socialised with Savile or were members of his Friday Morning Tea Club. I received no response. Contrast that with the response of the British Transport Police, which confirmed promptly and openly that none of their officers were involved.
The response of the Police
The response to all of this correspondence raising issues of Police corruption in the Savile and Jaconelli case was immediate and impressively well co-ordinated.
- On the 20th of May 2013, Detective Inspector Maddocks of the Metropolitan Police SC&O 5(6) Major Investigation Team Child Abuse Command emailed me to confirm that all of my correspondence had been forwarded to North Yorkshire Police, that any future correspondence received from me by Officers of Operation Yewtree “will be dealt with in the same way’ and the Metropolitan Police would not comment any further.
- On the 21st of May 2013, Ms Bethan Meredith of the IPCC notified me that she had forwarded my correspondence to North Yorkshire Police and instead of directing it to investigate these concerns, she had instead directed its Professional Standards Department to “consider whether your complaint would come under the Police Reform Act 2002” (PRA 2002).
- Predictably, on the 28th of May 2013, North Yorkshire Police confirmed that it will not investigate the allegations above because I do not have the necessary status under the PRA 2002 to be a complainant – thereby vindicating my prediction of a whitewash referred to above.
- On the 4th of June 2013 I wrote to Ms Meredith of the IPCC pointing out that the issues of Police corruption I have raised will not be investigated. The same day I received a response from Ms Rebecca Reed of the IPCC.
“The decision letter from North Yorkshire Police PSD is a decision that the concerns you have raised are not eligible to be recorded as a police complaint because you do not fit the definition of a complainant under the Police Reform Act 2002. This is a technical assessment of your status and is a separate and distinct decision to whether the concerns that you have raised should be addressed regardless”.
I responded asking that the IPCC ensured the issues I had raised in my complaint would be considered as part of the conduct investigation; this being in accordance with the IPCC press release quoted above. The IPCC did not address this question but simply reiterated the statement it issued on the 17th of May 2013.
- On the 5th of June 2013, I wrote to new Chief Constable of North Yorkshire Police, Mr Dave Jones, stating that the decision by his Force not to register a complaint within the meaning of the PRA 2002 did not preclude him from commenting on the issues I have raised in my complaint, regardless of the definitions contained in the Act. Given the fact that allegations of corruption and incompetence by North Yorkshire Police were being made in the national and local press, it would seem appropriate that North Yorkshire Police should investigate the issues raised, or issue a statement denying the allegations. I have received no response.
- Surrey, Metropolitan and North Yorkshire Police were given sight of a draft of this article and had the opportunity to comment, but I have received no comment from them.
- I have asked the IPCC to confirm that the information contained in the above complaint has been forwarded to the IPCC team within the IPCC scoping Savile matters and have had no response.
Of all the failures by the British Police Service that allowed Savile to go unpunished, the two most critical were made by North Yorkshire Police:
- The inexcusable failure by North Yorkshire Police to arrest Jaconelli, which would surely have led them to wind up the vice ring he led in Scarborough, including Savile.
- The apparent failure to pass on the intelligence North Yorkshire Police had developed on Savile during the 2003 paedophile investigation in 2007, which would certainly have led to his arrest by Surrey Police.
Scarborough was the area with the longest period of offending by Jimmy Savile, allegedly as part of a paedophile ring led by Peter Jaconelli and involving others. If North Yorkshire Police had followed up on the allegations about Jaconelli, Savile could conceivably have been arrested in the 1970’s. As it is, Jaconelli’s status as Mayor, prominent businessman and Conservative politician ensured that the Police left him alone so he could operate with impunity in Scarborough from at least 1955 (but probably earlier) until about 1999. Because of his association with Jaconelli, Savile was also able to operate with impunity in Scarborough from his arrival there in 1960 (living in a property he purchased next to a children’s home) until about 2009.
I submit that any impartial and rigorous investigation into Savile and Jaconelli may reveal offences of misconduct by North Yorkshire Police Officers over a number of years, some of whom could still be prosecuted.
However, it is a concern that North Yorkshire Police will not conduct an impartial investigation into itself that will reveal publicly such embarrassing shortcomings. It appears that now North Yorkshire Police is to investigate itself, (in exactly the same way as West Yorkshire Police did) it has used a legal stratagem, to ensure the issues of how it allowed Savile and Jaconelli to operate with impunity in Scarborough for fifty years will not be addressed and the allegations of incompetence and/or corruption by Officers of North Yorkshire Police will be conveniently swept under the carpet.
This is symptomatic of a wider malaise in the British Police service known in the United States as the Blue Code of Silence or Blue Wall Corruption.
Put simply, it doesn’t matter which Force they are from, many Police Officers will not report misconduct by another police officer. In the context of the Savile case, although the police are happy to go after high profile celebrities, they will not arrest, criticise or impartially investigate fellow Police Officers in high profile cases like Savile and Jaconelli. Hence, the Blue Wall of Silence I have faced, which is documented above.
This and the ongoing failure to address these issues by successive Chief Constables by retreating into a policy of maintaining its right to silence, damages public confidence in the police.
I would again call for a full and open statement by Chief Constable Jones making it clear that he supports an impartial and rigorous investigation into the grave allegations of corruption in his Force, and that he is determined to move away from the defensive and closed response North Yorkshire Police have traditionally maintained towards complaints against its officers.
The Rampton High Secure Psychiatric Hospital investigation into Savile’s activities there
Finally, I have now had access to the report detailing the Rampton High Secure Psychiatric Hospital investigation into Savile’s activities there. Until the Real Whitby investigation, the official position of Rampton was that Savile had visited there once during the 1970’s and no abuse had taken place.
However, Real Whitby proved he had been allowed access to patients from Rampton and had taken them to Scarborough to meet Jimmy Corrigan and Peter Jaconelli, who are alleged to have also been sexual abusers that operated in a paedophile-ring there. Upon being contacted by Real Whitby, Rampton High Secure Psychiatric Hospital immediately initiated an investigation which Real Whitby co-operated fully with at all times, making all of our information available to it.
The report is written by Dr Mike Ferriter, Lead for Research (Forensic Division), Ms Louise Landreth, Support Manager: Performance and Contracting (Forensic Division) and Mr Ian Fidler, Senior Clinical Security Manager (Forensic Division) and if you remove the terms of reference, is less than a page long. It states that Savile’s visit and the trips were made at the suggestion of a Charge Nurse, that he entered the secure area of the hospital on at least 3 occasions and that the two visits to Scarborough did take place.
The report confirms he was escorted by staff at all times, had no keys, was not left alone with any patients and that during his visits Savile was treated the same as any other professional visiting the Secure Psychiatric Hospital (although in fact he was not a professional i.e. medical professional visitor). It comes to the impressive conclusion that “Although the evidence is clear that JS had contact with some patients at Rampton Hospital, no evidence had been found in any documentation reviewed or during discussions with retired staff that anything untoward took place involving patients.”
Often internal investigations are more interesting for what they do not say rather than what they do say. This would seem to be a case in point:
None of the former patients who went on the trips were contacted by those conducting the internal investigation.
Savile wrote about the Rampton patients on the visits to Scarborough in the following terms:
- That they gave “incredible tenderness and affection.”
- ‘‘They can sit by you and stroke your face with a tenderness you could write beautiful poetry about.”
- “I love them, the mothers of these boys know exactly what I mean.”
This indicates much closer and unhealthy contact than simply attending a visit to the seaside, which are unexplained.
There is no mention of Jaconelli or Corrigan although I have made the investigation aware of the allegations surrounding them and that they had access to the patients. Nor does it mention that Corrigan gave the patients money.
The fact that some of the people who are in the group photograph taken with Savile and Jaconelli at the Town Hall, who are not patients or staff have not been identified is also omitted.
In my discussions with Dr Harriss he confirmed that Jimmy Savile had stayed at Rampton in his notorious mobile home which he called his “passion wagon” for an unknown period, during which time according to one member of staff “he had a different woman every night”. Only one of the ladies involved has been identified and she was over the age of consent. The others remain unidentified and it is therefore unclear if they were patients, members of staff or outsiders. Yet this is not mentioned in the report. This is particularly concerning following the recent revelations by Real Whitby that Corrigan and Savile used a mobile home to have a sleepover with scouts at a scout camp.
I have initiated further enquiries with the investigation team and will be reporting in full with a final article on the Rampton connection once I have had its response.
If you are affected by the issues raised by this article you may wish to contact the charity HOPE.