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Howard and Byrne Solicitors, York - Criminal Defence Specialists

Ten Month Delay by North Yorkshire Police in Child Porn Investigation

police

3:29pm 6th January 2015

Twenty five people whose names were given to North Yorkshire police in a child abuse investigation, were not dealt with for almost a year.

The force has already reported itself to the police watchdog over the ten month delay in acting on intelligence from detectives in Canada.

Details from a police raid there called Project Spade, into individuals suspected of accessing indecent images of children through a Canadian video production company, was given to North Yorkshire Police in November 2013.

But the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) says the force did not take action on 25 people named who lived in North Yorkshire until September last year.

Now, North Yorkshire Police has confirmed that 17 people have been arrested and bailed, four are being dealt with by other forces, two had already been arrested on other relevant offences, one has been dealt with but not arrested and one has died before police took action.

The IPCC is continuing to investigation why there was a delay and will look at:

  • whether North Yorkshire Police dealt with the intelligence as they should have according to national and force policies;
  • any difficulties accessing the intelligence data and what action was then taken;
  • whether North Yorkshire Police’s Intelligence Bureau had enough expertise and resources to deal with such intelligence;
  • whether North Yorkshire Police replied properly to requests from the National Crime Agency for updates on what they’d done with the intelligence; and
  • what action North Yorkshire Police took based on the intelligence passed to it by the National Crime Agency.

IPCC Commissioner Kathryn Stone said:

"How police deal with child abuse is rightly of great concern to the families of those involved and society in general. It is vital that our investigation should examine how North Yorkshire Police dealt with the intelligence given to them by the NCA and what actions they took. We will be conducting a thorough and comprehensive investigation into this matter.”

Detective Chief Superintendent Simon Mason, speaking for North Yorkshire Police said:

"North Yorkshire Police takes its safeguarding responsibilities extremely seriously and, as such, the force made a voluntary referral to the IPCC in relation to intelligence received from CEOP.

“It would not be appropriate to comment further until the IPCC has completed its investigation.”

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