The Metropolitan Police has decided not to continue with its investigation into the controversial SPAC Nation, the “Church of Bling” which has been closely associated with the Conservative Party, particularly in Croydon.
Yet according to a Croydon MP, former members of the church he has assisted in bringing forward their allegations have never been contacted by the Metropolitan Police as potential witnesses or to provide a statement.
“I just checked with five people I put in touch with the police after they raised allegations,” Steve Reed OBE, the MP for Croydon North, told Inside Croydon.
“Two have had no contact from police, while three were contacted but had no follow-up. What’s going on?”
The development – or non-development – has seen Reed arrange an urgent meeting with Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London and effectively London’s crime commissioner.
SPAC Nation was subject to a BBC Panorama investigation broadcast in December.
Reed has called SPAC Nation a cult and has compared the level of alleged abuse with that which occurred in Rotherham – again where the police were slow to instigate an investigation.
“Sadiq as the Mayor of London is also the police and crime commissioner for London, which means he’s in charge of the Metropolitan Police,” Reed said.
“So I will be seeking a full explanation of what is or is not going on in terms of investigating SPAC Nation given the scale and nature of allegations that we’re hearing from right across the capital.”
Reed managed to call an urgent debate in the House of Commons last month, where he criticised the police’s delay in investigating multiple allegations of fraud and serious abuse made by former members of the evangelical church.
Reed supported a dozen young people in submitting a dossier of evidence to the Met.
“Allegations about this organisation have been circulating widely in the black community and on social media for up to four years, so why has police intelligence failed to pick anything up?” Reed said in his speech in the Commons.
“Why has police intelligence failed to recognise what is happening to potentially thousands of vulnerable young kids across this city?”
The church continues to be subject to two investigations by the Charity Commissioners watchdog, yet retains its charitable status in the meantime.
SPAC Nation maintains that the organisation has done nothing wrong, and that senior church leaders – pastors – who have recently quit the church amid the fraud allegations were acting without knowledge or approval of the church.
Tobi Adegboyega, the founder of SPAC Nation with a natty taste for designer clothes and sports cars, told the Huffington Post UK: “The police have spoken and I have confidence in the judiciary system and the law enforcement system of this country that they will do their jobs right and as a church we stand for what is right.
“If we find anyone doing anything wrong we would report them to the necessary authorities.”
HuffPost UK has also reported that a former SPAC member who has made allegations against the church yet who says that she has never been contacted by the police.
They quote Toye-Mary Sofidiya as saying, “Nothing has happened since I reported.
“I would have expected some sort of email, some sort of follow-up, some sort of questioning or getting in contact with those who have been accused, something at least.
“But it doesn’t really seem like anything has been done at all.”
- Help support Inside Croydon’s award-winning, news-breaking journalism, and get money-off offers, exclusive content and priority booking for special events. Click here to find out more
- If you have a news story about life in or around Croydon, or what to publicise your residents’ association or business, or if you have a local event to promote, please email us with full details at email@example.com
- Inside Croydon is a member of the Independent Community News Network
- Inside Croydon works together with the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and BBC London News
- Inside Croydon named Journalist of the Year at 2018 Anna Kennedy Online Autism Heroes Awards
- ROTTEN BOROUGH AWARDS: For three consecutive years, 2017, 2018 and 2019, Inside Croydon has been the source for award-winning nominations in Private Eye magazine’s annual celebration of civic cock-ups
- Inside Croydon had 1.6million pages viewed by 721,000 unique visitors in 2019