Next episode of 24 Hours In Police Custody looks at child abuse cases

editorial image

The third episode of the documentary series 24 Hours In Police Custody will be broadcast at 9pm on Monday, October 13 and follows a team of

Bedfordshire Police detectives working full-time on child abuse cases.

DC Annie Fowler and DC Selena Humphreys provide a glimpse of their day job which includes having to view endless child abuse images and films, in an attempt to gather enough evidence to successfully prosecute the suspect.

Detective Superintendent Karena Thomas, explains: “Making, sharing and distributing indecent images of children is a very serious crime. Every indecent image is an abused child and as part of a global network of law enforcement and child protection organisations, we work tirelessly to seek out, identify, arrest and prosecute those involved with producing, distributing, sharing and viewing child abuse images.

“We have access to specialists working across international borders who use increasingly sophisticated methods to track images found anywhere in the world back to those offenders who have created them as well as those who have shared and distributed them.”

Chief Constable Colette Paul comments: “Abusing children is an abhorrent crime and our officers are committed to doing all they can to track down those involved and secure enough evidence to secure a successful conviction; often putting their commitment to fighting crime and protecting the public before their own personal wellbeing – as gathering evidence exposes them to extremely disturbing scenes, which can be difficult to block out.

“Although we provide counseling and support to our officers, I know how difficult it must be to spend day-after-day sifting through horrendous images in order to secure a conviction and I am extremely proud of the work that they do.

“Child sexual abuse has been hidden in our society for far too long. That is changing. In the police service we are committed to doing all we can to root it out and prevent any more of the young and vulnerable becoming victims. But we cannot do it by ourselves. Everyone, teachers, GPs, parents and other adults have a responsibility to spot the signs of abuse and act.

“One of the cases covered in the programme was an investigation into an attempted abduction of a nine year old child who was approached on her way home from school in March. Cameras followed the force as they led the operation to arrest a third suspect following the young girl’s statement and an e-fit description. With the culprit still at large, this remains an open investigation and anybody with any information should call 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111 if you have any information.”