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Major investigation into way Essex Police investigated thirty cases of child abuse

Politics / Wed 11th Feb 2015 at 11:48am

EXCLUSIVE

A MAJOR INVESTIGATION into the way Essex Police investigated thirty cases of alleged child abuse is underway.

Twelve detectives have been placed on restricted duties, with one suspended, as the force tries to get to the root of what may have gone wrong with the investigations.

Speaking exclusively to YH, deputy chief constable (DCC), Derek Benson has told us that the force has written to all 59 victim of child abuse.

Most of these investigations relate to the work of the child abuse investigation team that covers the North of Essex and all of them have been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

YT also understands that Norfolk Constabulary will also be assisting with the investigation.

The Essex Police and Crime Commissioner, Nick Alston has also been informed.

But the force has not ruled out other victims from across the county, including Harlow, coming forward and so have set up a special helpline.

DCC Benson said: “I was very disappointed to learn of this and I am now determined that we find out exactly what has happened and to rectify things quickly, not least for the victims.

“The force is working hard to put in place new systems to stop this from happening again.

“If individuals have failed in their duties then they will be held to account, but we will also look at all possible aspects of why this has happened.

A recovery plan has been developed and many actions are already underway, these include:

“An experienced senior retired detective has been brought in from outside to review the live investigations being conducted in the North of Essex.

New officers have taken over all those investigations which have caused concern and additional investigators have been drafted in to assist.

A revised policy is being introduced to ensure that investigations are reviewed on a consistent and regular basis by supervisors at all levels so that enquiries are continually progressed and meet the high standards expected.

New monitoring systems are being put in place across all of our child abuse investigation teams to closely assess the workloads of officers and ensure none of them are stretched too far.

Senior officers and detectives are carrying out briefings to reinforce with supervisors the importance of close management of investigations.

Children’s charities, Barnardo’s, the Children’s Society and the NSPCC, have been invited to form part of a new Child Abuse Advisory Group to ensure the force has the expert advice and independent assessment it needs.

We have contacted the families of those involved in these investigations to let them know what is happening and apologise for the undoubted distress this has caused them.

If any victims or families are worried about child abuse investigations by Essex Police I would urge them to call our special helpline number on 01245 282103.

“If you are currently suffering from abuse, or believe someone that you know is, you should call us immediately on 999. My officers will do their very best to protect you.”

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