The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is to investigate three forces over alleged failures to act on intelligence relating to indecent images of children.
- North Yorkshire
- North Wales police
The three forces made referrals to the IPCC in relation to intelligence they received from the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP). After careful assessment by the IPCC they will now be independently investigated.
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.
On 30 September we received a referral from Essex Police relating to the force’s delay in responding to the information provided by theNational Crime Agency (NCA) in November 2013. The information led to the force’s contact with Martin Goldberg prior to his death. The IPCC also received a number of complaints from individuals affected by the case.
On 6 October, the IPCC wrote to the chief constables of all police forces in England and Wales. They were asked whether their force received material from the NCA originating from Project Spade, and if so to review the way they treated it to determine whether or not there are matters that should be referred to the IPCC. As a result we received referrals from North Yorkshire Police and North Wales Police.
The IPCC has also received a referral from the National Crime Agency (NCA) relating to intelligence received by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) in July 2012. The referral detailed a failure to distribute that information to UK police forces until November 2013. The intelligence was provided to CEOP by Toronto Police in Canada as part of Project Spade and related to customer details of purchasers of DVDs and videos.
The IPCC has still not received all the information it requires from the NCA. Once this happens the assessment will be completed.
In July 2012 CEOP was a stand-alone organisation funded through the Home Office. From October 2013 it has been absorbed into the NCA.
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.