IICSA begins investigation into internet abuse

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) has launched its first strand of the investigation relating to the response from law enforcement agencies to internet abuse.

Jun 30, 2017

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) has launched its first strand of the investigation relating to the response from law enforcement agencies to internet abuse. It will also look into the use of the internet and other digital communications technology to facilitate child sexual abuse. IICSA’s investigation into internet abuse is one strand of 13 into a range of institutions in England and Wales accused of failing to protect children from sexual abuse. It will also review national policies on preventing internet abuse, and the appropriateness of the response of the National Crime Agency, the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, and the police. The inquiry will look at information available from published and unpublished reports, as well as court cases and previous investigations, and evidence from core participants. In 2014, Breck Bednar was killed by a man he met while online gaming. His mother raised concerns of a supposed 18-year-old grooming her 14-year-old son with Surrey Police two months before his murder. An Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) investigation found the call handler and supervisor’s conduct had amounted to gross misconduct. Surrey Police was also criticised for failing to carry out a check on the police national computer for Breck’s murderer, who had been arrested on suspicion of raping a 15-year-old two years earlier. The IPCC wrote to the National Police Chiefs’ Council to urge them to ensure best practice is shared nationally on the handling of grooming reports. The IICSA has called for those that wish to be designated as a core participant in the investigation to apply by July 28, 2017. Applications must be set out in writing on no more than four sides of A4 paper. Core participants have the right to receive disclosure of documentation, make legal submissions, suggest questions and receive advance notice of the inquiry’s report. It is not necessary to be a core participant in order to provide evidence to the inquiry. A preliminary hearing for to the first investigation will be held at 10.30am on September 19 at the International Dispute Resolution Centre in central London.

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