Force has very serious questions to answer – Police Commissioner
Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson has commissioned a report into the failings of the force following the conviction of former West Midlands Police officer Allan Richards for dozens of sex offences against children over a 38-year period, the majority of which were committed while he was a serving PC.
Richards, who served with West Midlands Police for 31 years assaulted 17 people between 1976 and 2013. His youngest victim was just eight.
The 54-year-old served as a police constable between 1980 and 2011. He kept a list of boys to whom he was attracted. The attacks took place at scout camps, swimming pools and other locations.
West Midlands Police has apologised to Richards’s victims and said it could have done more.
West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson said:
Allan Richards has let down the public and the force.
His crimes are the ultimate breach of trust. He exploited his position and the victims he was meant to be protecting at the lowest point of their lives.
It is extremely worrying that he was able to remain an officer until as recently as 2011, only a year before the introduction of PCCs.
I have commissioned a public report into the failings of West Midlands Police to ensure nothing like this can ever happen again. West Midlands Police needs to rapidly rebuild public confidence to make sure Richards’s vile crimes do not undermine the good work of the vast majority of officers.
The force has very serious questions to answer and I will make sure the Chief Constable provides the answers the public – and Richards’s victims – deserve.
Whilst the force have unequivocally apologised, West Midlands Police also needs to examine the cultures at the time and re-assure the public that they have made the changes required to prevent the offending of a criminal like Richards taking place now.
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