Police case closed in Holmes investigation

Former Dacorum Mayor and councillor Stephen Holmes
Former Dacorum Mayor and councillor Stephen Holmes

Police have revealed that they are not investigating former mayor Stephen Holmes for any other crimes relating to children.

Officers do not believe that there is any risk that the ex-councillor, now behind bars for collecting a massive stash of child pornography, would have taken his sick fetish further.

Holmes, who has been a governor at several of the town’s schools over the years, was jailed after police raided his Woodhall Farm home and discovered he had filed 400,000 still images and more than 2,000 movie clips of children on his computer.

Despite the shocking discovery, there will be no internal investigation by Dacorum Borough Council, for which Holmes was a councillor up until his arrest and mayor between 2009 and 2010. His picture has been stripped from the Civic Centre’s public gallery of mayors.

Chief executive Daniel Zammit said: “As there is no evidence to connect the offences committed by Stephen Holmes with his role as DBC councillor and former mayor, there isn’t anything arising from his conviction that could be the subject of an investigation by the council.

“Councillors are not subject to CRB checks unless involved in specific areas or work or projects that will bring them into close contact (under regulated activities) with children or vulnerable adults. There are no mayoral activities that would involve unaccompanied children.”

He did, however, say that the council’s safeguarding policies and procedures are subject to regular audit and recently the frequency of some CRB checks of individuals has been increased.

Council leader Andrew Williams said: “I don’t think there is anything we could have done or could learn from a council investigation.”

Meanwhile, there has been an internal investigation at Herts County Council, where Holmes was also a councillor, as well as deputy cabinet member for children’s services and vice-chairman of the children’s services cabinet panel. Here he had been subject to a CRB check but because he had not been previously convicted of any crime it was clear.

Police confirmed officers looked at county council computers as part of their investigation but nothing sinister was found. Holmes did not have borough council computer equipment at home.

Mr Williams has put out a reassurance message to people living in Dacorum. He said: “People should be secure that incidents like this are relatively rare and there is no reason why people should feel unsafe in the company of their councillors in the future.”

See page 12 for your 
letters following the sentencing of Holmes