An independent enquiry into Freemasonry in the police should be initiated at the earliest possible moment. Even though the majority of police, including masonic officers, are not corrupt, it is clear that corrupt police can and do use Freemasonry to effect and further their corruption. There are now so many allegations about masonic corruption within the service that even if ninety-nine per cent of them were wholly groundless - and no one who has investigated it could accept that for one moment - we are still left with a disturbing situation. Why successive Home Secretaries have ignored or refused calls for an enquiry is not known. Not all have been Freemasons, but all have had masonic advisers in the persons of their senior Civil Servants.

In September 1981 and again in April 1982 there were claims in court of criminal conduct on the part of Freemason police. At Knightsbridge Crown Court on Tuesday, 22 September 1981 an ex-Metropolitan Police Detective accused of trying to bribe a senior Drugs Squad officer said they were both members of the same masonic Lodge. The detective told the court that he had seconded the application of the Drugs Squad man - a Superintendent -to join the Lodge when they were both stationed at King's Cross Road. The Superintendent admitted that he was a member of the Brotherhood and that he had visited the Lodge when the detective was there, but denied he had ever been a member of the Lodge. And the detective denied, along with a co-defendant, paying the Superintendent £2,800 as an inducement to return sixteen million diethylpropion hydrochloride tablets. Prosecuting counsel told the court that when the attempted bribe had taken place, the conversation had been secretly recorded.

In the later case, a police informer named Michael Gervaise claimed at the Old Bailey that policemen in the same masonic Lodge as criminals involved in a multi-million-pound silver bullion robbery had warned them that they were about to be arrested. As a result of this masonic act, one of the men involved in the £3.5 million robbery fled and has never been traced. Gervaise, who had been involved in the robbery himself, told the court, 'certain officers were Freemasons. Certain criminals belonged to the same Lodge. There were eight or nine officers in the same Lodge as the people involved in the silver bullion robbery.'

Unrest about the undoubted misuse of Freemasonry by policemen is spreading and demands for an enquiry will continue to grow. The worst possible thing would be a masonic witch-hunt, and the surest way of avoiding that would be to institute a proper, sober enquiry before the issue becomes a tool in the hands of political extremists.

Many people want to see Masonry banned in the police. This would inflict damage to the personal happiness of many thousands of upright masonic policemen and to the principle of individual freedom that might outweigh any good effect. But a compulsory register on which police officers have to list their affiliation to secret societies, and their status within such societies, is the minimum requirement if a grave situation is to be improved.

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