West Midlands Police has 'questions to answer' over why a child sex offender was allowed to remain in uniform, says PCC.Read the full story ›
Retired West Midlands Police sergeant Allan Richards has been convicted of 40 sex offences against children as young as eight in a catalogue of abuse spanning four decades.
West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson have released the following statement in response to the conviction:
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 publ ic 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.
The ex-policeman and former Scout leader, formerly of Thaxted Road, Tile Cross, Birmingham, was convicted at Birmingham Crown Court today (21st October) of carrying out nine indecent assaults against six boys aged between 11 and 15 at camps, swimming baths and other locations, between 1982 and 2003.
Richards had already been found guilty earlier this year of a further 31 sex offences against other boys, including two rapes, going back as far as the 1970s.
The force said it "removed him from public contact" in 2004, but he remained with the force until he retired in 2011.
He was also removed from his post with the Scouts.
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The West Midlands has become the toughest place in the country for drivers who don't leave enough room for cyclists.
Today police carried out stings on motorists in Birmingham who broke the law while overtaking an undercover police officer on a bike.
West Midlands Police is the first force in the country to target motorists like this, but many drivers say it's not always possible to leave the one and a half metres the law dictates. Chris Halpin reports.