Operation Yewtree has turned the Met into vigilantes and all adults into suspects
SLOW news day? Worried that the plebs are getting restless? Then tell them things are okay because there are going to be lots more “significant” arrests in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal. These arrests will be in the “next few weeks”. Stay tuned, folks.
Nazir Afzal, chief crown prosecutor for north-west England, says child sex abuse was “more widespread than we ever imagined”.
Depends how good your imagination is. A year ago, it might have been limited to men in playgrounds, Gary Glitter and Thailand. But now thanks to lots of unproven allegations against famous people, it’s expansive. Chances are that every adult is a child abuser. It’s only these Operation Yewtree arrests that make adults pause and wonder if they’d want their names in the papers, or to be arrested at Heathrow Airport, like Jim Davidson was.
So far, Operation Yewtree, the Met’s inquiry into historical allegations of sexual abuse linked to the entertainment industry, has nicked 11 people. We’ve been reacquainted with Gary Glitter (a proven child abuser), Freddie Starr, Jim Davidson, DJ Dave Lee Travis and PR consultant Max Clifford. They all protest their innocent. But their arrests have been conducted in a white glare of police PR. Nicking Davidson at Heathrow Airport was particularly crass and cruel. You might not like him – and plenty don’t – but turning his arrest into spectator sports was appalling.
All 11 are on police bail pending further inquiries. No charges have been made. No trials arranged. But don’t panic because more arrests are scheduled.
It’s almost as if the police have been exposed as failing the children who told them they were being abused and now seek to show off their credentials as protectors of the week. Problems begin when they start to look like vigilantes…