Heath would have been quizzed over abuse claims
- Author: Adam Floyd Oct 06, 2017,
Oct 06, 2017, 0:21
"None of these seven claims were while he was prime minister but I understand some allegations did happen when he was prime minister", he told Sputnik.
During a two-year investigation, the Wiltshire Police force in southwest England investigated 42 claims against Heath, who served as Britain's leader between 1970 and 1974, relating to 40 different people.
Among the allegations is one from 1962, not reported until August 2015, which is said to have occurred in the county.
With a significant number of serious claims made against a senior political figure, it would have been irresponsible and unprofessional for Chief Constable Mike Veale to look the other way.
Their report released Thursday says "there is sufficient suspicion to have interviewed Sir Edward Heath under criminal caution regarding his suspected involvement in child sexual abuse".
Heath died at his home in Salisbury in July 2005 aged 89, which means the claims against him can not be heard at trial and prosecutors can not say whether or not they would have brought charges. He was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
Wiltshire Police led the investigation because Heath had lived in the town of Salisbury and several of the allegations were said to have taken place in the county.
United Kingdom police have spent the past two years reviewing allegations of crimes by Sir Edward Heath against 40 people.
Heath was first elected asConservative MP for Bexley in Kent in 1950 and defeated Harold Wilson's Labour Party in 1970, before losing to Wilson four years later after a damaging miners' strike.More news: Frankfurt Evacuates 60000 People Before Defusing Massive WWII Bomb
He said: "Children or adults that alleged they are being abused must have the trust and confidence in the police".
Among them, the former television presenter Jimmy Savile was found to have abused children while working for the BBC, and police concluded after the death of the ex-lawmaker Cyril Smith that he should have been charged on three occasions in the 1960s and 1990s over claims of indecent assault. Operation Conifer has also led to the investigation of other suspects. "I believe this was the right moral, ethical and professional thing to do".
None the less, those who knew Sir Edward dispute the allegations. It was just not of interest to him, ' he added.
One of the people was cautioned by officers while another is now being investigated.
Ken MacDonald, the former director of public prosecutions, criticised the force for holding a press conference outside Heath's home and appealing for witnesses to come forward - which he said was likely to encourage "fantasists" to come forward.
Wilshire Police said its conduct was scrutinised by an independent panel and a "value for money" review by Her Majesty's Inspector of Constabulary, which found no wrongdoing.
Veale denied the investigation into Heath was a "fishing expedition" or "witch hunt" and vowed not to bow to "unacceptable" media pressure.
The report made public today is not the full version.
A lifelong bachelor, he has been dogged by allegations about his private life, specifically questions about his sexuality and the claims of sexual abuse.