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PM 'sympathy' for abuse victims

Published 17/04/2015

Lord Janner is said to be too ill to face trial over historic child sex abuse allegations
Lord Janner is said to be too ill to face trial over historic child sex abuse allegations

David Cameron has sympathised with those who feel "frustrated" that Lord Janner will not face charges over alleged child abuse.

The Prime Minister made clear that it was a matter for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) whether to take action against the former MP, who has dementia.

But he said he recognised it could be difficult when there was a perception that people were not "getting the justice they deserve".

Lord Janner, now 86, was investigated by three different police inquiries between 1991 and 2007.

He is accused of using his position as MP for Leicester to abuse vulnerable young boys at a local children's home in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.

The CPS has admitted it was "wrong" not to bring charges against the peer at the time.

Director of Public Prosecutions Alison Saunders has said there is enough evidence to bring charges now, but his dementia is too severe.

Police have threatened legal action to overturn the "perverse" decision.

Lord Janner has denied all the allegations.

Speaking at an election campaign event in Wales, Mr Cameron said: "I have enormous sympathy for anyone who has been the victim of crime or abuse, of sexual abuse, whoever has carried them out, wherever they've happened in our country.

"And it's quite clear to me that we need to do more as a country to tackle this scourge and tackle it more rapidly.

"But it is a very important principle in our country that decisions about prosecutions, about investigations are taken by the independent authorities in the proper way and we have to be very careful not to step over the line however frustrating sometimes it may feel that people aren't getting the justice that they deserve.

"One of the things that I hope that the inquiry work that is being done - not just in government but all these institutions, hospitals, health services, children's homes - all of these inquiries are going to lead to something which means we act faster when these problems arise.

"Not having a culture of people not talking out, not reporting and all the other things that seem to have gone wrong in the past.

"I am confident that we will build a safer country for our children and avoid these appalling crimes in future.

"Where lessons need to be learnt they must be, and any government I'm in will make sure of that."

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