Former head of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP), Jim Gamble, has spoken out against government plans to amalgamate CEOP into a new National Crime Agency (NCA) in 2013. Gamble resigned in November over the plans announced in January by the Home Secretary Theresa May, but has only now spoken out publicly to The Times about this.
CEOP is an important part of UK law enforcement that stands to protect children from sexual abuse as well as to help keep young people safe from predators when they are online.
"I asked the Home Secretary directly from whom she had taken advice that this was the right route for child protection. She had not spoken to me as the police lead on child protection, nor to other senior police officers, nor to senior figures in children's charities or government advisers.
I told her that, as a former senior counter-terrorism officer in Northern Ireland and a former deputy director of the National Crime Squad, I had experience in all these fields and everything we had done and learnt in setting up Ceop told me that moving blindly into a criminal justice framework was the wrong thing. I outlined my concerns very clearly. But it was difficult and frustrating because the Home Secretary was either unwilling or unable to articulate the rationale for her decision."Jim Gamble, former head of CEOP
Gamble said that wasn't about money as by bringing it under the NCA, wouldn't save anything, it was a bout saving face in the governments plans to axe quango's.
"Child protection will always be an absolute priority for this government and we value the important work carried out by Ceop.
We want to ensure that its vital role continues and flourishes. We are discussing with the new chief executive how Ceop could further develop and thrive if it were to form part of the new National Crime Agency."Home Office spokesman