IPCC outlines investigation into North Wales Police’s handling of child sex abuse intelligence
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has outlined the scope of its investigation into possible failings by North Wales Police’s (NWP) handling of intelligence relating to images of naked children between November 2013 and October 2014.
In November 2013, the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) sent NWP a spreadsheet containing details of 12 people who were named by Project Spade in Canada that sought to identify the buyers of videos containing images of naked children. All 12 were dealt with at the time by NWP or other appropriate forces.
In October 2014, when NWP were collating information to return to CEOP (now part of the National Crime Agency), the original raw intelligence was checked again and three additional names were discovered. These have also now been subject to investigation by NWP.
NWP referred this incident after the IPCC wrote to all Chief Constables in the country asking them to look at how they had handled information originating from Project Spade. NWP identified a potential conduct issue for a civilian member of staff.
The IPCC investigation will look at:
•whether NWP followed any force-wide or national policies and guidelines in their handling of the intelligence data;
•whether NWP took sufficient action on the intelligence received and updated the NCA/CEOP appropriately about their actions;
•who within NWP had ownership of the information and who was responsible for supervising that person; and
•what steps NWP have already taken to prevent any recurrence of this issue.
The IPCC Commissioner for Wales, Jan Williams, said:
“Any incidents of failures in dealing with intelligence relating to the safeguarding of children are naturally of major concern to the community and the IPCC will be undertaking an investigation to discover whether any failures occurred in the manner North Wales Police dealt with the information they received.”
The IPCC is not investigating any actions taken by North Wales Police in respect of any of the suspects named in the intelligence.
For media enquiries please call the IPCC press office on 020 7166 3260