Statement on former West Midlands Police officer convicted of child sex offences

Former West Midlands Police officer Allan Richards has been convicted of dozens of sex offences against children over a 38-year period, the majority of which were committed while he was a serving PC.

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson said: "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 public 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 public report will be discussed in detail at the December Strategic Policing and Crime Board.