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Essex Police Suspend 25 Officers Over Handling Of Child Abuse Cases

Essex Police are investigating 29 officers as the force undergo an inquiry into its handling handling of 49 child abuse cases

The police watchdog has said 29 serving and former  Essex police officers are being investigated over the handling of child abuse cases.

They also said that six officers were under criminal investigation.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission probe relates to the handling of 49 child abuse inquiries between 2011 and 2015 that were reported to Essex Police.

RT reports:

There are 25 current and four former officers under investigation by the IPCC. Only two serving officers have been suspended. The rest have been placed on restricted duties.

The majority of the rest have been placed on restricted duties.The IPCC is looking into allegations of misconduct and perversion of the course of justice, with officers being investigated for alleged failures over victim safeguarding and problems with the investigation process.

There are also concerns about the honesty and integrity of officers over the way some investigations into child abuse were conducted.

Some 22 of the notices are in relation to alleged gross misconduct.

Essex Police said it had taken “a number of immediate actions to put things right.”

The latest notices given to officers mean the number of policemen and women currently under investigation has nearly doubled since the beginning of the inquiry into the police force.

Initially, when the IPCC announced its investigation into Essex Police’s handing of child abuse cases, only 12 officers were being investigated. That number has now risen to 25 serving officers, and four further ex-officers.

“These investigations relate to issues we identified and referred to the IPCC,” Deputy Chief Constable Derek Benson said.

“We took a number of immediate actions to put things right and will work with the IPCC to identify where further improvements need to be made.

“We are working closely with partner agencies and children’s charities to ensure the force gets expert, independent advice, and the changes we have made to the way we investigate child abuse cases mean that our investigations will be of the highest standards possible.

“There is no more important issue to Essex Police than protecting children,” he added.