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North Yorkshire Police Accused of Failing to Act on Child Abuse Intelligence

Police car

4:20pm 12th November 2014
(Updated 5:09pm 12th November 2014)

An investigation's been launched after claims North Yorkshire Police failed to act on intelligence regarding indecent images of children.

The force has referred itself to the police watchdog along with Essex Police, North Wales Police and the National Crime Agency, which now runs the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP).

The police watchdog, the Independent Police Complaints Commission, says it is investigating each force separately.

IPCC Deputy Chair Sarah Green said:

"There is rightly considerable public concern about how police forces deal with sexual offences involving children. The IPCC takes this issue seriously and proactively contacted all forces and asked them to review their handling of intelligence to determine the scale of any issues. Our investigations will examine carefully how intelligence from CEOP was dealt with by these three forces.”

It relates to a child abuse investigation by Toronto Police in Canada, here's a timeline of what we know:

  • JULY 2012 - Toronto Police in Canada pass details of customers who have bought DVDs and videos to the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) in the UK.
  • OCTOBER 2013 - CEOP is merged into the National Crime Agency.
  • NOVEMBER 2013 - The National Crime Agency sends out information from the raid in Canada sixteen months earlier to local police forces, including North Yorkshire Police, for them to investigate.
  • 30th SEPTEMBER 2014 - Essex Police refers itself to the IPCC over it's delay in responding to the information about the raid in Canada when it received it in November 2013. It comes after the death of teacher Martin Goldberg, the day after police questioned him at his Southend home about hundreds of indecent images on his computer.
  • 6th OCTOBER 2014 - Police watchdog writes to all Chief Constables, including North Yorkshire's Chief Constable Dave Jones, to ask them to review how they handled their information from the Canada raids.
  • 12th NOVEMBER 2014 - The police watchdog announces North Yorkshire Police and North Wales Police have referred themselves to the IPCC over alleged failures to act on information from the raids in Canada.

Detective Chief Superintendent Simon Mason, of 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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