Essex Police is to be investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) over allegations they failed to act on information over child sex abuse images.
It relates to former deputy head of Southend school Thorpe Hall, Martin Goldberg, for failing to properly investigate for more than a year evidence he have been a paedophile.
The 46-year-old killed himself in September a day after being confronted by police over videos of naked boys he had bought online.
Following his death, it emerged he had been filming and photographing dozens of boys in the changing rooms of the fee-paying school using a camera hidden in a rucksack.
Essex police were told about concerns about Goldberg by the National Crime Agency in November 2013 which itself had been tipped off in July 2012 by Canadian police investigating customers of a Canadian website selling videos of child abuse.
On September 30, the IPCC received a referral from Essex Police relating to the force’s delay in responding to the information provided by the National Crime Agency (NCA) in November 2013.
The information led to the force’s contact with Martin Goldberg prior to his death. The IPCC also received a number of complaints from individuals affected by the case.
The force made referrals to the IPCC in relation to intelligence they received from the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP). After careful assessment they will now be independently investigated.
IPCC deputy chairman Sarah Green said: “There is rightly considerable public concern about how police forces deal with sexual offences involving children.
“The IPCC takes this issue seriously and proactively contacted the force and asked them to review their handling of intelligence to determine the scale of any issues.
“Our investigations will examine carefully how intelligence from CEOP was dealt with by these three forces.”