IPCC to investigate NCA over handling of child sex abuse intelligence by CEOP
The Independent Police Complaints Commission is to investigate how staff at the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP), which is now part of the National Crime Agency (NCA), handled intelligence provided by Canadian police in July 2012. The intelligence package that was provided included details of UK individuals relating to the purchase of videos containing images of naked and partially-naked children.
The NCA made a referral to the IPCC in September 2014 detailing a failure by CEOP to disseminate the intelligence to police forces until November 2013. The intelligence was provided to CEOP by Toronto Police under an operation called Project Spade.
Following the initial referral the IPCC asked the NCA for more information including whether the conduct of any individual staff should be referred, to assist our assessment. In December the NCA and Lincolnshire Police subsequently referred the actions of three officers, two NCA officers and one junior Lincolnshire officer who was on secondment with CEOP at the time, and the IPCC will now conduct an independent investigation.
The investigation will look at how CEOP received the intelligence from Canadian police and how it was dealt with. It will also consider why the referral to the IPCC took until September 2014 rather than at the time delays were identified.
IPCC Commissioner Carl Gumsley said:
“The public are rightly concerned about the safety of the most vulnerable members of society and issues concerning the protection of children.
“Independent IPCC investigators will be examining closely the actions taken by CEOP and NCA officers and staff over a sixteen month period to determine if they acted appropriately and promptly as well as looking at any possible organisational failings.”
Notes to editors:
In July 2012 CEOP was an independent body affiliated to the Serious and Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) and funded by the Home Office.
In October 2013 it was amalgamated into the newly created NCA.
The IPCC is separately investigating the actions of three police forces, Essex, North Yorkshire and North Wales in how they acted upon Project Spade intelligence sent to them by the NCA.