We are currently trialling our new-look independent.co.uk website - please send any feedback to beta@independent.co.uk


Retired police sergeant James Walter Reginald Miller named in 1960s' sex probe

City of London Police names 84-year-old after new official guidance to forces, approving identification of suspects 'in the public interest'

A police force has named a retired officer arrested on suspicion of indecent assault in the hope that more witnesses or victims come forward.

James Walter Reginald Miller, 84, joined the City of London Police in April 1955 and left in January 1985 at the rank of sergeant. It is alleged he committed the offences in a police station accommodation block between 1966 and 1968.

City of London Police have named Miller after the recently-formed professional standards body, the College of Policing, issued new official guidance to forces, which approved the identification of suspects if it is in the public interest.

The college issued the guidance following criticism over differing approaches to releasing information by police, including one force that refused to name a retired officer accused of theft at the point of charge.

City of London detectives want to track down any residents or visitors to the former accommodation block of Bishopsgate police station who feel they may have information in relation to the investigation into the claims against Miller.

Specially-trained officers are available and all contact with police will be treated with the utmost sensitivity, the force added.

Detective Inspector Clinton Blackburn, from the City of London Police public protection unit, said: "In 1966, Bishopsgate police station had an accommodation block for serving police officers and family.

"I am keen to speak to anyone who may have information that could help us - no matter how small the detail, it could still be of interest to us."

Miller has been bailed pending further inquiries.

The college guidance said that at the point of charge, forces can release name, address, occupation and charge details, and must consult the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) if they want to withhold the name.

But at point of arrest, the guidance said the names or identifying details should not be released "save in clearly identified circumstances", such as a threat to lift or to help the prevention or detection of crime.

It previously emerged that Home Secretary Theresa May wrote to the college over reports that some forces refused to name suspects who had been charged.

Warwickshire Police recently came under fire for initially refusing to name a retired police officer charged with theft.

The force, which eventually performed a U-turn and revealed the identity of the retired officer as Paul Greaves, originally claimed it had altered guidance in the wake of the Leveson Inquiry into press standards.

Last night, the Government's chief legal adviser said it could be "very sensible" for police to confirm to the press the names of arrested suspects.

Attorney General Dominic Grieve said if the media needed to know the identity of a suspect, and it was in the public interest, the police should confirm names if correct ones are put to them.