Child abuse probe delays investigated by police watchdog

Ceop headquarters in London Image copyright Getty Images

The police complaints watchdog has said it will investigate child protection staff's handling of intelligence about potential paedophiles in the UK.

The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (Ceop), part of the National Crime Agency, took a year to alert police to information provided by Canadian authorities in July 2012.

The tip-offs about video purchases led to a number of investigations.

The referral to the Independent Police Complaints Commission was made in 2014.

The IPCC will examine how Ceop received and dealt with the intelligence. It will also look at why the NCA took until last September to refer the case.

The intelligence about 2,345 UK individuals provided by Toronto Police under an operation called Project Spade has resulted in the jailing of Cambridge doctor Myles Bradbury, who abused young cancer patients, and Cardiff deputy head teacher Gareth Williams, who secretly filmed pupils.

Another person named was Essex deputy head teacher teacher Martin Goldberg, was found dead a day after police questioned him.

The watchdog says it is separately probing how Essex, North Yorkshire and North Wales police acted on Project Spade intelligence sent to them by the NCA.

Image copyright Other
Image caption Martin Goldberg, Myles Bradbury and Gareth Williams were all questioned after the Canadian tip-offs

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