Thursday, 12 February 2015

Essex police apologise to families

Deputy Chief Constable Derek Benson
"A 24-strong specialist child abuse team within Essex Police has been split up after an investigation appeared to show problems including the faking of a signature on a victim’s statement and failing to act on crime reports."

"The Chief Constable of Essex apologised for the problems within some 30 inquiries that dated back to the 1960s and involved nearly 60 victims. The crimes included rapes, with some of the victims very young children."

"Police said they had contacted the families of those involved to apologise for what had happened. Officials said last night it was "highly likely" that children had been abused as a result of the failure by police officers to carry out basic investigations."

"One officer within the unit has been suspended while 11 others have been moved to restricted duties after the cases were referred for further investigation to the police watchdog, the Independent Police Complaints Commission. (IPCC)..."

"Essex Police have apologised for the problems with inquiries that involved nearly 60 victims The scale of the problems emerged after the IPCC was asked to investigate five officers last year from the north Essex child abuse team over claims that an officer fraudulently signed a witness statement. It was also investigating members of the unit over its response to reports that a girl had been the victim of child sexual exploitation, the IPCC said. Further cases were identified after a new head of public protection was appointed in September. In addition to delays in arresting suspects and protecting children, officers were alleged to have failed to pass details of cases to prosecutors to consider if charges should be brought...."

"Essex Police said that 29 of the 30 cases were now being investigated by a beefed-up team and suspects have been charged in three of the cases. Seventeen of the cases date back to the late 1960s and early 1970s. One case of an assault on a child was closed because there was not enough evidence to proceed, said Deputy Chief Constable Derek Benson."

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