Statement in relation to the Sir Edward Heath investigation following the Henriques Review

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“The Henriques review was commissioned to look in to the Metropolitan Police’s handling of Operation Midland and other investigations concerning persons of public prominence within the Metropolitan Police area. Accordingly the review was not focused on Operation Conifer.

“Wiltshire Police is the national lead in relation to Operation Conifer. The purpose of Operation Conifer is to investigate allegations of child abuse made against the former Prime Minister Sir Edward (Ted) Heath. In addition, the investigation aims to safeguard children and vulnerable adults who may be at risk of abuse today and, where relevant, bring living offenders to justice.

“The operation commenced in August 2015, following an IPCC press release naming Sir Edward Heath as a suspect in an investigation into non-recent child sex abuse.

“Operation Conifer is investigating a number of separate allegations made by persons who have come forward. Two arrests have taken place in relation to Operation Conifer and, at this time, both remain on police bail. Due to the fact that this remains a live investigation it would not be appropriate for us to comment any further at this stage.

“A panel of independent experts outside of policing are providing ongoing scrutiny of the investigation to ensure its proportionality and justification. Furthermore, in line with recognised best practice, Wiltshire Police recently commissioned Operation Hydrant to undertake an independent review of the investigation to ensure its ongoing proportionality and justification.

“Further to the release of the Henriques review Wiltshire Police, in conjunction with the College of Policing and the National Police Chiefs Council, will consider where relevant any national guidance and policy recommendations that may impact upon the ongoing Operation Conifer investigation.”

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