Meeting the men and women doing the most difficult work imaginable.

Scotland Yard’s paedophile unit: Meeting the police men and women doing the most difficult work imaginable

Exclusive: Paul Gallagher meets the people whose job it is to identify victims, stop abuse material being shared and distributed, categorise extreme imagery ready for court and, hopefully, catch paedophiles before they find a victim.

On the 16th floor of the impressive Empress State Building, looming over Earl’s Court Exhibition Centre, the men and women of Scotland Yard’s Sexual Offences Command quietly go about some of the most distressing police work imaginable.

This is home to the ‘paedophile unit’ whose job it is to identify victims, stop abuse material being shared and distributed, categorise extreme imagery ready for court and, hopefully, catch paedophiles before they find a victim. Day in, day out officers here wade through an infinite amount of extremely distressing material. One of the most difficult jobs within the squad lies with the team of nine officers responsible for trawling the web’s “tame” to “extreme” websites that play host and distributor to an unlimited volume of child abuse material.

 ‘Dan’, the team leader, introduces me to the “mild” websites that are often a paedophile’s starting point. “You’re going to get a flavour of the webcam society that we live in which a lot of teenagers experience and think it’s a laugh and a joke,” he says. “We’ve gone in a generation from teenagers experimenting with a kiss and a cuddle behind the bike sheds to this.”

The websites popping up in front of me all contain thousands of indecent images, all easily accessible through a simple Google search, of mainly naked selfies or full frontal shots taken in front of a mirror. The vast majority of girls are smiling or pouting – no one seems upset. What is perhaps even more startling is the number of girls who are filming or photographing themselves in pairs or groups. In one image a girl who appears no older than 12 is being hoisted by three boys the same age – all naked, all laughing.

Dan, who has been in the role for five years, says: “This is happening everywhere, in every [secondary] school around the country. We have to be realistic. You’ll see videos that have been taken in schools.”

The proliferation of supremely confident girls filming or photographing themselves like this has altered the Met’s child abuse ‘victimology’ profiles which, until recently, had assumed girls with webcam access being left alone for hours in their bedroom were the norm. Not anymore. The amount of self-generating child abuse material, from children often oblivious to the exploitation that follows, is overwhelming.

The material ends up being shared globally onto websites with chat forums as voyeurs share fantasies and, ultimately, progress to ‘contact abuse’ having found people with access to vulnerable children.

DI Phillip Royan, who leads the paedophile unit, says: “This is the mildest stuff we deal with. People record the most horrendous stuff – sadism, penetrative sex with children, in families. It’s tough to deal with. It’s a niche field and evokes a lot of emotion in police officers.”

Many of the team are parents and, like any other office, pictures of children are dotted around desks helping no doubt to take the detectives’ minds off their work for brief moments.

Full article here

The Independent 04/10/15

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18 Comments

Filed under Abuse, News

18 responses to “Meeting the men and women doing the most difficult work imaginable.

  1. dpack

    that is horrid to to read but there are folk working to limit harm which is good .
    there is good work being done including some ace technical pooter stuff that can identify such issues (and worse )with no human having to view the content in order to assess it and flag up where actions should be applied.
    it is important that good actions are applied when such data is collected.

  2. “Paedophiles come from all sections of society,” says Dan. “Teachers, judges, police officers. It is a classless crime…”

    • It’s a classless crime but it’s not classless when it comes to investigation prosecution and punishment. Not really surprised at your quote.

      • John Derbyshire

        Unfortunately we live in a society where justice is not equal. How many members of the British Establishment or their friends end up in prison?The Thorpe case proved how friends, influence and money tipped the scales along with a brilliant QC and how many middle class people could afford his services. One thing is quite clear, research claims that child abusers come from all strata of society, but this is not reflected in the British Courts and shows that some people are willing to protect people who have committed crimes that are unspeakable. I am sure those who cover up for others should also face the courts regardless of power, influence etc. Alas, this will never happen in our lifetime and sadly the real story of child abuse will also never come to light in our lifetimes.

      • Aardvark

        Well said Sabre, to coin your phrase, he probably has a dog in the race!

  3. Aardvark

    Total respect to all the Police, Social workers, Child protection officers etc working to protect Children from this nightmare. It is getting an increasingly scary World to bring Children up in.

  4. Hi Gojam,

    I just saw your tweets with Tim and it seems some clarity is needed.

    1. Exaro tweeted before Tim asked that a CSA victim made the complaint.

    2. Tim can ask questions, but he should not expect answers.

    3. The officer is under review because it seems he leaked details of victim to the media, and seems such details were leaked prior to Mail’s story.

    4. The officer is also under review because while he is not part of CSA investigation he leaked information, and it would seem sowing seeds of doubt amongst the media about OP Midland and victims while actually having absolutely ZERO involvement in the case.

    5. If he is the ‘senior police source’ quoted by the media and being used by Panorma tomorrow well he is being investigated by the Met.

    Assuming Panorama goes ahead, I await your post where you tell us how you believe the gist of the program, which they will have based on credible sources, LOL, how the victim is wrong, and Exaro is trash.

    As I have asked before assuming the concerted efforts from multiple corners – some seen, some not – remove Exaro, who will contine to investigate and expose the abuse? I don’t see any other media sources working this with the intensity that is needed.

    • Unlike you yourself, I don’t know what I’ll write having not seen the programme.

      As for the rest of what you write, there seems to be one big problem and that is that Exaro is your source and as I know they have deliberately misinformed their readers before, I’ll not rush to believe them now.

      I made only one point in my tweets and that was that identifying Nick didn’t need a Met officer. We did it through information he’d published. No police officer necessary, everything was there. I have no idea who Panorama’s source is. No idea. I’m just pointing out that it could be easily enough worked out.

      Edit, I’ve been away a few days and it has just been pointed out to me that complainant might be Darren and not Nick. I’ve no time to check right now but if that is the case then I should point out that he would be even easier to identify given that he spoke on camera to journalists using his real name.

      • The BBC confimred what Exaro said today. were you able to identify Nick before the Mail piece, and if so what public information did you use? In any event it is irrelevant as the officer is being invetigated for leaking the information, and sowing seeds of doubt about a case he had ZERO involvment in.

        As for Panorama I doubt it will be a fair and balanced piece. Heck. I might be surprised. Maybe they will spend time mention the 40+ police
        Investigations into decades of cover up and case being shut down by the police. Maybe they will also spend time talking about how officers involved in those cover ups have come forward as whistleblowers. Maybe they will spend time highlighting some of the succesful prosecutions, and how Janner with the help of the CPS almost avoided being charged again. Maybe they will highlight the CPS deal with Ball.

        I doubt it.

      • I’m not going to tell you what info was used to ID Nick. I passed that info on to Mark Conrad after the DM story so it could be removed but yes we had it long before the DM story.

        As for this police officer. Someone has made a complaint and it is being investigated just as Nick has made a complaint about Harvey Proctor it doesn’t mean it is true, it is just a complaint.

        You and others are desperately trying to get the Panorama off air. Why ? You claim it will undermine survivor confidence but the truth is that Exaro’s reporting has already undermined survivor confidence. Lies don’t help in the search for the truth.

        In reality, you and others are invested in Exaro’s lies and you don’t want it exposed. That is the truth of it. You are like children blocking your ears and screaming because you don’t want to hear something unpleasant.

        It’s pathetic and pretty desperate behaviour to watch.

  5. Simon

    Just seen ‘Exaronews’ latest post about senior met officer / detective re: Panorama VIP & MP CSA debunk TV program (is it on bbc1 tomorrow?). :-(

    Maybe it’s just me, but part of the post almost sounded like a post from “The Coleman Experience” (warning! extreme website imho):-

    “So and so was living here, across the same road – at the same time as another so and so, both on the electoral roll at the same street name… sorry maybe not totally accurate, but hopefully you get the gist of it?

    All that was missing, was the usual end quote; “We haven’t got a bloody clue. Have you?” Sigh…

  6. The VIP Paedophile Ring: What’s the Truth?
    Panorama investigates sensational allegations of historical child abuse and murder by some of the most prominent people in Britain: a paedophile ring at the heart of the Establishment. Why were the allegations described by police as “credible and true” with no hard evidence or corroboration? What role have senior politicians and the media played in promoting this story around the world? And what price will genuine victims of child abuse pay if it turns out not to be true?

      • dpack

        who gains is a very sensible question in relation to many aspects of matters of “fact” and hypothesis .over the last few years i have found it a useful approach to take regarding known outcomes with a variety of possible causes.when looking for motives it is a primary tool of considerable value.

  7. I am not invested in Exaro. Complete nonsense. Ok with Panorama so long as it is fair and balanced. Fair and balanced would mean they would include some off the things I mentioned above.

  8. VIP paedophile inquiry: Lord Brittan claims unreliable.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-34455579

  9. tdf

    A good recent article from Julie Bindel which the Needleteam and readers may not have seen:

    http://www.standpointmag.co.uk/features-september-2015-julie-bindel-britains-apologists-for-child-abuse

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