A former police chief told how his superiors tried to stop a major paedophile investigation, warning: “Don’t open the box, you will never get the lid back on.”
Retired Detective Chief Superintendent Roger Gaspar said Scotland Yard top brass feared what Operation Hedgerow would unearth when it was launched in August 1987.
He told the Sunday Express he was denied extra resources and was told to “deal with what he had” throughout the two-year inquiry.
Mr Gaspar, who now lives on the Essex coast, also suggested a paedophile unit should be set up to investigate abuse in the late 1980s, but the request was turned down.
The operation centred on a north London paedophile ring in Kilburn and dealt with 653 claims by 150 boys and young men.
Over 20 were arrested and 14 men convicted.
According to reports at the time the ring was “used by highly placed civil servants and well known public figures”, but police lacked the “evidence or manpower to pursue them in court”.
During the investigation accusations were uncovered of abuse at Grafton Close, a boys home linked to the notorious Elm Guest House.