Cash-strapped force sends Home Office £1.2million bill for probe into allegations former Prime Minster Ted Heath was part of a paedophile ring
- Wiltshire Police spent almost two years investigating Sir Ted Heath allegations
- Now cash-strapped force has sent the £1.2m bill to Home Office to pick up
- Police chiefs say Operation Conifer was in the nation’s interest
Police chiefs have asked Ministers to stump up £1.2 million to cover the cost of the controversial investigation into Sir Edward Heath.
Wiltshire Police has spent nearly two years looking into allegations that the late Prime Minister was a paedophile, including claims he was part of a Satanic ritual abuse ring.
The cash-strapped force, which has lost one in six officers in budget cuts, has been accused of wasting money that could be better spent protecting the public.
Wiltshire Police have spent nearly two years looking into allegations that the late Prime Minister was a paedophile, including claims he was part of a Satanic ritual abuse ring. Pictured above, Sir Ted Heath
But now The Mail on Sunday can reveal Wiltshire Police hope they will be reimbursed for the spiralling cost of the Heath investigation, known as Operation Conifer.
The force has asked the Home Office to cover the costs, which stood at £1,228,112 on May 11, on the grounds that the inquiry has looked at allegations nationwide.
A police spokesman said: ‘Operation Conifer is a national investigation that Wiltshire Police is leading on behalf of the Police Service. We have therefore made an application for funding to the Home Office under their special grant funding arrangements.’
Critics say the move could set a dangerous precedent that would encourage police chiefs to continue fruitless investigations, knowing they would not damage their force’s own budgets.
Former Tory MP Harvey Proctor, who was falsely accused of being part of a VIP paedophile ring, said: ‘If this succeeds, chief constables will be at the mercy of every fantasist in the land. Any resources from the Home Office should be devoted to tracking down active terrorists, not historic, dead, alleged paedophiles.’
The investigation is expected to end this summer. Whitehall sources said the request had been reviewed and a final decision would be made after the Election.
Former Tory MP Harvey Proctor, pictured above, who was falsely accused of being part of a VIP paedophile ring