Yard sent file on porn complaint

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The Independent Online
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SCOTLAND YARD has been sent a dossier of evidence alleging that a senior policeman has breached police regulations by publicly claiming that pornography is linked to violence.

A group that campaigns against censorship of pornography has made the complaint against Detective Superintendent Michael Hames, head of the Obscene Publications Squad.

Documents collected by the National Campaign for the Reform of the Obscene Publications Act include a speech given by Mr Hames to Mary Whitehouse's National Viewers' and Listeners' Association at the Conservative Party conference last year.

The organisation's honorary director, David Webb, was told that Mr Hames had the support of Sir Peter Imbert, commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, for the speech. As a result, Mr Webb has also named Sir Peter in the complaint to the Police Complaints Authority.

He alleges that both men have broken regulations which say that police officers cannot take part in any activity that interferes with the 'impartial discharge of their duties'.

'The National Viewers' and Listeners' Association is a highly contentious organisation,' Mr Webb said. 'Mr Hames should not have spoken there.'

Among the documents presented by Mr Webb is an article by Mr Hames in the Daily Mail in 1990, when he said there was an 'indisputable link' between pornography and sexual crime.

A spokesperson for the Obscene Publications Squad said Mr Hames had merely been following instructions to police officers to have an 'open and effective relationship with the media'.

The complaints authority said the matter would be referred to Scotland Yard, where police would decide whether it should be investigated under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act.

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