The Paedophile Unit is a branch of the Metropolitan Police Service's Child Abuse Investigation Command, based at Scotland Yard in London, England. It operates against the manufacture and distribution of child pornography, online child grooming, and "predatory paedophiles online", and organised crime associated with these.
The unit was the subject of a series of BBC television programmes concerning the Hunt for Britain's Paedophiles, which were the subject of a record 23,000 calls to the BBC Audience Line.It was responsible for the final break-up of the advocacy group called the Paedophile Information Exchange.
The Paedophile Unit works in conjunction with the Hi-Tech Crime Unit to examine computers used by suspected offenders, including computers used in public areas or via remote connections. This use of technology to identify and arrest suspects is referred to as "proactive policing".
The Paedophile Unit began life in the early 1960s as the Obscene Publications and Public Morals Branch, although the name was shortened in 1990 to the Obscene Publications Branch (OPB).Its common name, however, even among the police hierarchy, was always the Obscene Publications Squad (OPS), and it was often colloquially known as the "porn squad" or the "dirty squad". Set up as part of the Clubs and Vice Unit following the passing of the Obscene Publications Act 1959, it originally operated against all pornography, but after restrictions on adult hardcore pornography began to be effectively rendered unenforceable by the advent of the internet, the unit was restructured in 1995 to focus solely on child sex offences and renamed the Paedophile and Child Pornography Unit. Responsibility for any future investigation of adult pornography was transferred directly to the No. 1 Area Clubs and Vice Unit at Charing Cross Police Station.
Originally part of the Criminal Investigation Department, it was transferred to the uniformed branch in November 1972after it was revealed that some of its officers were taking bribes from the pornography industry. Several were later jailed for corruption offences. Although staffed by "uniformed" officers (although they continued to usually operate in plain clothes) and not detectives, it initially continued to be part of the Serious Crime Squad of C1 Department of CID, although by 1990 it was part of Territorial Operations (as TO13). In 1993, it returned to CID control, allowing its officers to once again use the "detective" prefix in front of their ranks, and became part of SO1(4), the International and Organised Crime Branch of Specialist Operations. In the reorganisation of 1995, it became part of the Organised Crime Group. The officer in charge was a chief inspector until 1972 and a superintendent thereafter, assisted by an inspector and a number of sergeants and constables. By 1993, it had sixteen police officers and ten civilian staff (responsible for administration, storing evidence, and, along with the officers, viewing and assessing material).
In 1995, newsreader Julia Somerville and her partner were arrested by the unit after they took nude pictures of Somerville's daughter in the bath for development at Boots. They were later released without charge as no crime had been committed.
Special Branch is a label customarily used to identify units responsible for matters of national security and intelligence in British and Commonwealth police forces, as well as in Ireland. A Special Branch unit acquires and develops intelligence, usually of a political or sensitive nature, and conducts investigations to protect the State from perceived threats of subversion, particularly terrorism and other extremist political activity.
The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), formerly and still commonly known as the Metropolitan Police and informally as the Met, Scotland Yard, or the Yard, is the territorial police force responsible for law enforcement in the Metropolitan Police District, which currently consists of the 32 London boroughs. The MPD does not include the "square mile" of the City of London, which is policed by the much smaller City of London Police.
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Operation Spanner was a police investigation into same-sex male sadomasochism across the United Kingdom in the late 1980s. The investigation, led by the Obscene Publications Squad of the Metropolitan Police, began in 1987 and ran for three years, during which approximately 100 gay and bisexual men were questioned by police.
The Royal Commission into the New South Wales Police Service, also known as the Wood Royal Commission was a royal commission held in the State of New South Wales, Australia between 1995 and 1997. The Royal Commissioner was Justice James Roland Wood. The terms of reference were to determine the existence and extent of corruption within the New South Wales Police; specifically, it sought to determine whether corruption and misconduct were "systemic and entrenched" within the service, and to advise on the process to address such a problem.
Operation Cathedral was a police operation that broke up a major international child pornography ring called TheWonderland Club operating over the Internet. It was led by the British National Crime Squad in cooperation with 1,500 officers from 13 other police forces around the globe, who simultaneously arrested 104 suspects in 13 countries on 2 September 1998. The case received widespread international attention due to the highly organised nature of the ring, leading to public concerns of online child sexual abuse and legislative changes in the UK.
Sir Robert Mark was an English police officer who served as Chief Constable of Leicester City Police, and later as Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police from 1972 to 1977.
The GardaNational Bureau of Criminal Investigation (GNBCI) - formerly known as the Central Detective Unit (CDU) - is the main national criminal investigative branch of the Garda Síochána, the national police force of Ireland.
A Child Abuse Investigation Team/Unit (CAIT) is a unit within a police force in the United Kingdom, responsible for investigating offences relating to minors.
The Specialist Investigation Department is a branch of the Criminal Investigation Department of a British police force which investigates crimes such as murder and sexual offences supplying specially trained officers to monitor known ex-offenders who have a history of sex offences. This unit could be considered the same as Area Major Incident Pool of the Metropolitan Police Service. The Specialist Investigation Officers use the prefix "Detective" in front of their actual police rank. The team also responds to major investigations such as murder when divisional teams can not cope with the sheer amount of work.
The Clubs & Vice Unit was an Operational Command Unit of London's Metropolitan Police which provided advice and practical support to other units in the Metropolitan Police concerning the policing of nightclubs, vice and obscene publications.
The New York City Police Department (NYPD) is structured into numerous bureaus and units. As a whole, the NYPD is headed by the Police Commissioner, a civilian administrator appointed by the Mayor, with the senior sworn uniformed officer of the service titled "Chief of Department". The Police Commissioner appoints a number of Deputy and Assistant Commissioners. The Department is divided into twenty bureaus, six of which are enforcement bureaus. Each enforcement bureau is further sub-divided into sections, divisions, and units, and into patrol boroughs, precincts, and detective squads. Each Bureau is commanded by a Bureau Chief. There are also a number of specialized units that are not part of any of the Bureaus and report to the Chief of the Department.
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Richard William Huckle was a convicted British serial sex offender and child rapist. He was arrested by Britain's National Crime Agency after a tip-off from Australian Police and convicted of 71 counts of serious sexual assaults against children while working as a freelance photographer and posing as a Christian teacher in Malaysia.
In 2010, police received a report of a child sex abuse ring in Norwich, England. The recurring crimes spanned 10 years and all victims, two boys and three girls, were younger than 13. The perpetrators organized sex parties where adults played card games to decide who would abuse which child. Three member of the gang received significant prison sentences, including ringleader Marie Black, who was jailed for life. Black's sentence made her "one of the UK's most notorious paedophiles."
James William Humphreys was an English businessman and criminal who owned a chain of adult book shops and strip clubs in London in the 1960s and 1970s. He was able to run his business through the payment of large bribes to serving police officers, particularly those from the Obscene Publications Branch (OPB) of the Metropolitan Police. His diaries—which detailed meetings he had held with police officers, the venues of the meetings and the amounts of bribes paid—provided evidence for the investigation by anti-corruption officers of the Metropolitan Police.