Cambridgeshire

Myles Bradbury: Theresa May told to 'hold herself to account'

Myles Bradbury Image copyright PA
Image caption CEOP knew Cambridge doctor Myles Bradbury was buying potentially harmful videos in 2012, the NCA said

A former head of the UK's child protection unit CEOP has called on Home Secretary Theresa May to "reflect on her position" over the government's handling of the Myles Bradbury case.

It emerged CEOP failed to tell police about the Cambridge doctor, who abused children with cancer, for 16 months.

Jim Gamble, head of CEOP from 2006-2010, said the unit was overworked and Ms May should "hold herself to account".

The Home Office declined to comment.

Bradbury, a paediatric haematologist from Herringswell, Suffolk, admitted abusing 18 boys in his care at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, between 2009 and 2013.

He came to the attention of CEOP in July 2012 after being caught buying suspect videos online.

But the screen shots were graded as low risk and were not investigated further until his details were passed to Suffolk Police last November.

Image caption Jim Gamble says there is "far too much work" for CEOP since the merger with the National Crime Agency

By coincidence, the day Suffolk Police got the details, Addenbrooke's Hospital received its first complaint by a victim's grandmother about Bradbury and Cambridgeshire Police were notified.

Both forces arrested the 41-year-old in December. The court indictment shows he carried out much of his offending in the months CEOP had information on him.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Dr Myles Bradbury was one of 2,345 names given to CEOP

The National Crime Agency, which now runs CEOP, said it carried out a review of the delay and acted on those recommendations, but has since referred itself to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

Mr Gamble resigned over the planned merger of NCA and CEOP.

"I am so sorry for the hardworking few in CEOP where there's simply far too much work for far too few people where they've lost expertise," he said.

"We've got to point the finger of blame where it belongs - and that is to this government and this home secretary who diverted CEOP from a path where it would consolidate child protection resources, to a place where it was being assimilated into a much larger organisation with a very different focus and culture.

"She should hold herself to account, as she asked Shaun Wright (South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner) to do, and reflect on her position, because it would be ridiculous for her not to apply the same standards to herself."

A Home Office spokesperson said: "It would be inappropriate to comment while the Independent Police Complaints Commission is investigating."

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