Essex child abuse: Increase in case probes ‘not surprising’

via BBC News – Essex child abuse: Increase in case probes ‘not surprising’.

Concerns over the handling of child abuse cases by an Essex Police team are “not surprising”, the county’s police and crime commissioner (PCC) has said.

Eight extra cases have been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) on top of 30 already being looked into.

The investigations relate to a team covering north Essex.

Essex PCC Nick Alston said the increase was “distressing”. The force has been asked to comment but has yet to do so.

“As the review into the quality of child abuse investigations instigated by Essex Police progresses, regrettably I do not find it surprising that it has identified further cases of concern and fresh referrals to the IPCC,” he said.

But he stressed the number of cases being dealt with by the IPCC remained “a small proportion” of the total number of such cases investigated by the force each year.

“I am convinced the force is making real efforts to identify and resolve problems with the quality of child abuse investigations,” Mr Alston added.

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