National newspaper claims a case against a suspected paedophile was dropped by Cambs police because of a lack of resources
A national newspaper claims Cambridgeshire police abandoned an investigation into a suspected paedophile because officers said they did not have “the time or resources to pursue it”.
The case was highlighted in a report by The Times after its investigation found police abandoned investigations into 999,263 crimes in 2017, after a suspect was identified.
According to The Times an investigating officer said he believed the suspected paedophile would “almost certainly have pleaded guilty if he had been charged”.
The alleged paedophile was caught by the internet group Keeping Kids Safe, which has gathered evidence used for the prosecution of several paedophiles. The group was informed in January that Cambridgeshire police was closing the case.
The Times said an investigating officer had written to Keeping Kids Safe and said: “The Crown Prosecution Service returned this job with a wish list of tasks to be undertaken that would have taken many months for a whole team. So we had to close the investigation as it stood.”
According to The Times nearly one million crimes a year are being shelved by police, including violent and sexual offences, even when the evidence has pointed to a possible offender.
Detective Chief Superintendent Chris Mead, Cambridgeshire’s head of investigations, commenting on The Times’ claims, said: “The initial stages of this investigation progressed well, with a prompt arrest and identification of potential offending.
“While we appreciate the officer involved may have felt frustrated by the further work that was requested, this came as a result of a review by an experienced lawyer in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors with a clear assessment made of the evidence required. There are formal processes in place to enable us to discuss any concerns with the Crown Prosecution Service.
“Unfortunately in this case this opportu, the investigating officer reviewed the advice and used their own professional judgement – balancing the time it would take to complete the actions against the needs of other investigations they were leading and making the decision to take no further action.
“Further work will be required following the feedback we received from the CPS.
“This case is now under review to establish whether we can provide the CPS with the evidence required to pass the Full Code Test for prosecution.
“Protecting children remains a force priority – we will continue to work with the CPS to ensure offenders are brought to justice.”