News of the World, 1st December 2002
THE FBI has slammed British police for failing to track down internet paedophiles on a wanted list.
Our cops have traced less than ONE HUNDRED of SEVEN THOUSAND names handed to them by the bureau a year ago as part of Operation Avalanche-the pursuit of a worldwide ring of child sex fiends.
An FBI source told us last night: “We are furious. We expected prompt action from Britain and all we’ve got is feet-dragging.”
And the police dithering could be leaving hundreds of UK youngsters at the mercy of perverts who should be off the streets.
For the FBI has discovered that a horrifying ONE IN THREE of the 10,000 web paedophiles it has traced in America was actively engaged in assaulting children.
John Carr, internet adviser to UK children’s charity NCH, said last night: “It is a national disgrace so few arrests have been made. Many of these men will be continuing in their sickening activities and children will have their lives destroyed.”
But police are blaming banks and credit card firms for hampering their investigation as they try to check thousands of card numbers handed to them by the FBI which have been used on porn sites.
The organisations are refusing to hand over personal details of paedophiles because it would invade the perverts’ privacy.
Michael Hames, former head of Scotland Yard’s Paedophile Unit, said: “Some of the credit card companies have not been that helpful.”
Top cops also claim cash-strapped forces around the country need more money to tackle the massive FBI list of 7,272 names.
The Association of Chief Police Officers which is co-ordinating the British inquiry-codenamed Operation Ore-has had a Pounds 2 million demand to cover the additional workload refused by the Home Office.
Meanwhile another policeman has been arrested in connection with Operation Ore. PC David Brown, 39, of Cheadle, Greater Manchester, faces 15 charges of possessing indecent images of children.
So far 30 cops have been questioned. Those charged with possessing child porn include Det Con Brian Stevens, 41, who read a poem at a memorial service for murdered schoolgirls Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman, and a colleague, 34- year-old PC Antony Goodridge.
It is believed there could be more than 100 serving officers on the FBI list if their colleagues ever get round to questioning them.