Stoke & Staffordshire

Staffordshire Police delays in sex case 'unacceptable'

Staffordshire Police have admitted that delays in investigating a man later convicted of sexual offences against teenage boys were "unacceptable".

Information that the man had previously been investigated for sexual offences was not acted on for at least eight months.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) found the force's intelligence systems were "flawed".

The IPCC said "significant changes" had since been made by the police.

Staffordshire Police said an officer and member of police staff had been investigated for unsatisfactory performance.

The IPCC said its investigation found some errors by individuals, but its primary concern was that the force's system for processing information was "flawed and unfit for purpose".

A further IPCC investigation found inadequacies in the system for entering information on the force intelligence database.

Amerdeep Somal, from the IPCC, said: "As a consequence of the organisational weaknesses identified, an opportunity was lost to involve partner child protection agencies at an earlier stage."

A spokesman for Staffordshire Police said: "We have thoroughly reviewed and restructured our intelligence systems and, earlier this year, launched a new Central Intelligence Development Unit.

"Experienced officers or police staff in the unit assess such information to ensure it is properly progressed."

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