Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Dark Underside of Society

I am not one who is easily shocked, and over the years I have seen some unpleasant examples of human frailty, but last week I had to read about some of the nastiest ever.
I was asked for search warrants by an officer from the Paedophile squad, and as is usual the applications were supported by Informations that were given on oath. I can't say anything other than that the internet conversations between active paedophiles and undercover officers went beyond nauseating.
As a besotted grandfather the emotional impact on me was potentially a strong one, and I was careful to consider the applications exactly by the book, focusing only on the objective facts.
If that was tough for me, what is it like for the detectives who have to deal with this stuff day after day? It cannot be easy to remain professional and detached, but that is probably the only way to cope.


  1. I fix computers for a living, and some months ago I was presented with a possible case of child exploitation material on a customer's computer. I refused to turn on the machine until I received advice - I contacted the local police child protection unit, who took over and eventually cleared my customer of wrong-doing (he'd been the victim of a software trojan, although he had been visiting "legitimate" pornography websites). My point? The police officer I'd contacted told me they received calls like mine - from computer service personnel - "all the time". Thoroughly depressing. Child protection police must be very robust to cope with this.

  2. It cannot be easy to remain professional and detached, but that is probably the only way to cope.

    I read somewhere that the officers who deal with this only work in this area for a short while because it will get to them if they stay doing this job for too long.
    John Gibson

    1. Many forces will only allow officers to work in this area for a maximum of three years. It does cause difficulties with retaining experience. The officers have to undergo psychological testing before and during their stints on these teams.
      I couldn't do it, obviously.

  3. Several years ago in my CPS days, I was a 'specialist' prosecutor for sexual crimes...most of it seemed to be incest in that area and at that time, but one of the reasons I left the CPS was that I didn't like the fact that I had to become almost emotionless to get through the day...

  4. I work as a lawyer dealing with Care cases, where it is not uncommon to have to go trhough eveidence regarding abuse and neglect, and it can be incredibly hard. It is one of the few reasons I am not sorry to be giving up Legal Aid.

  5. There are some very sick people about and those who have to track these perverts down have a very harrowing job. These people are parasites and should be treated accordingly. What ever sexual activity consenting adults want to get up to is their business- no one is exploited or tricked in to doing things. These people trick lie and cheat an d they get a kick out of it.

    I can't praise the forces of law and order enough for their work

  6. Sack them all and cut their gold-plated pensions.Oh sorry wrong website,thought it was the Daily Mail.

  7. I'm a probation officer working with a 40+ caseload consisting almost exclusively of men who commit sexual offences. As a minimum these men are on a 3 year community order, with the remaining being on licence, some for shorter but most for considerably longer periods of time. Day in, day out, week in, week out this is my working life. Unfortunately there is no opt out and support comes only from your fellow officer. It's not easy.

  8. As with all cases BS, you have to take off your 'normal head' and put on your 'JP head'. Not easy, but you'd go mad otherwise. The fact that you're still shocked is healthy I think. I've two little girls under 8 and when faced with child pornography (as I was recently) I had to put them out of my mind and deal with the facts. Not my emotions, the facts. And yes, it's hard. But it's what we signed up for....

  9. What do we all think about cases involving "pseudopictures"?

    Let it be assumed that it can be definitely established that that is what the material in question in a particular case. Are we not creating a thought-crime by treating it as criminal?

  10. Spare a thought for the CPS prosecutors working alongside the officers who have to review the material in preparation of the cases for trial...

  11. And the Defence Counsel.

    Sex cases are never easy, I went through a run and it was incredibly draining.


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