...it's your fellow columnists you should be addressing. They did as much as anyone to lay the groundwork for this disaster:
There were places to start an inquiry that might have seemed obvious: the alleged murder of a boy – a schoolfriend of Beech’s named Scott – which Beech claimed had taken place in plain sight on a public road at a busy time; or talking to Beech’s wife of many years. For months, the police failed to investigate either. The Panorama team was astonished to find we were ahead of the police in contacting both Scott and Dawn Beech.At this point, who on earth would ever be 'astonished' to find themselves ahead of our politicised, no-longer-fit-for-purpose (sorry, Jacob!), hopelessly inept police farce?
In the case of Scott and the school records, no deep intrusion into Carl Beech’s life would have been needed to corroborate or disprove his story. There would have been no serious risk of victim shaming. But by now the police were operating from a different playbook, one that relied on publicity rather than diligence to encourage witnesses to come forward. It had worked in Operation Yewtree, the investigation into high-profile sexual offences by Savile and others.Maybe, Ceri, when you've finished basking in the warm glow of having pointed out the elephant trap that everyone else had remarked on while it was being built, you might like to put your researchers to work on Yewtree as well.
Because if you think Operation Midland was a joke, boy, have I got news for you!
If you worry about one consequence of Operation Midland, it should be this: it put the public in danger. Carl Beech, a paedophile and a risk to children, remained at large for years longer than necessary because the police failed to investigate him fully.And the people in charge of the police failed to hold them to account, in fact, positively encouraged them to charge down this path.
And what did they get for it? Not a great deal. It hasn't markedly harmed their political careers. Even the ones who chose poorly.
So don't just blame the police. Point the accusing finger at the puppetmasters, not the puppet.