The police are struggling to convict suspected paedophiles under
Operation Ore because forces do not have the resources to conduct
investigations, writes Sally Gillen.
The operation, which was launched in April last year, is
responsible for investigating more than 7,000 people, hundreds of
whom are believed to be employed within the social care sector, who
have accessed websites containing child pornography.
But more than a year after the UK-wide hunt began, it has
emerged that police forces are overwhelmed by the huge scale of the
operation and have slowed down their work.
In Scotland 350 suspects were identified in a 16-month
investigation, but the Association of Chief Police Officers in
Scotland was unable to confirm the number of convictions brought
against those investigated.
There are also fears police will be further overwhelmed by a new
list of British suspects, exceeding the number on the original
list, handed to them by US authorities.
Expert on paedophiles Ray Wyre told ‘Community Care’ an inquiry
into how the operation is being conducted should be launched.
He claimed too many cases were not being properly pursued and
said police do not have the advanced technological skills or money
– it costs an estimated £2,000 to examine a computer
– to conduct rigorous checks.
Police forces have been given no extra money to carry out their
Operation Ore work and child protection is not a priority under the
national policing plan so police forces may choose to direct
funding towards areas measured by the Home Office.