Thames Valley Police

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Chief Constable and MP row over ‘threats’ made in paedophile case

Published March 16, 2015 by misty534

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A MINISTER last night stood by claims Thames Valley Police tried to pressure him not to raise in Parliament its failure to stop an Oxford paedophile.

Rob Wilson said he regarded discussions with officers as threats when he was preparing to ask questions in the Commons as to why David Cullen was free to abuse children when the convicted paedophile was being monitored by the force.

Thames Valley Police and Oxfordshire social services were criticised in a serious case review over former Blackbird Leys man Cullen.

The Reading East MP has raised the 2009 discussions following revelations two weeks ago of similar failings over the abuse of young girls in Oxford in Bullfinch.

Mr Wilson said Chief Constable Sara Thornton was one of those he spoke to over Cullen – jailed for life in 2008 – but she hit back, saying his allegations were “unfounded and potentially libellous”.

The Civil Society minister said: “There were all sorts of darkly veiled threats if I went head-to-head and toe-to-toe with Thames Valley Police. I had phone calls from at least two members of Thames Valley Police who rang me up directly about this and tried to stop me raising this matter in Parliament.

“My intention is to ensure that should similar cases arise in the future, they are dealt with properly – which was not the case with [Cullen] nor more recently with children in the Oxford area.”

Police described emails between an officer and Mr Wilson as “professional and polite on both sides”.

Ms Thornton, who has written to Mr Wilson over his comments, added: “I categorically deny ever making any sort of threat, veiled or otherwise, to Rob Wilson MP.”

Mr Wilson said: “It is very disappointing that Sara Thornton is making legal threats, which will prevent proper open discussion. I have sought transparency and openness and it is a shame that the police are still seeking to close down a reasonable and honest debate.”

by Jason Collie

Police chiefs concede it would be ‘naive’ to say there is not a child sexual exploitation problem in the area

Published January 16, 2015 by misty534

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POLICE chiefs have declared there is a problem with child sexual exploitation (CSE) in the Royal Borough. 

Thames Valley Police this week revealed since Autumn 2013, the force has got involved in 38 incidents to protect young people in the borough believed to be at risk of CSE. It added currently 13 young people are actively being worked with. Of the 38 incidents, 37 involved girls and all 38 were aged between 12 and 18. Since the launch of a CSE-tackling programme in the Windsor and Maidenhead policing area in Autumn 2013, three abduction notices have been slapped on people suspected of grooming teenagers and there have been two arrests on suspicion of CSE – both unrelated to the abduction notices. Superintendent Kate Ford, area commander for Windsor and Maidenhead, said: “It would be very naive to say just as we live in an affluent area, there isn’t a problem. “We don’t have a problem on the scale of some areas. We have young people that we believe are being exploited and we are working closely with partners to make sure that doesn’t escalate.” Windsor-based Inspector Emily Roberts, who is taking the lead on tackling CSE in the borough, revealed as part of a large-scale training and education operation with hotels and bed and breakfasts last year, one hotel in the Royal Borough was given comprehensive training in licensing law in September. Supt Ford added: “There were concerns about it potentially being a place where young people were being groomed. Whilst we didn’t have any evidence that they were abetting or aiding criminal activity, we could do checks on selling alcohol. There were some apparent breaches there.” The pair also warned there is no guarantee that levels of CSE have reached a ceiling in the Royal Borough, adding as police and the public are more alert to warning signs, especially after recent high-profile cases such as in Rotherham and Oxford.

Police hunting for more victims of paedophile Rodney Smallman

Published December 30, 2014 by misty534

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FURTHER victims of a former Oxfordshire children’s home boss who sexually abused boys have been asked to contact the police.

There could be more young people targeted by Rodney Smallman during the 1970s and 1980s, police believe.

The assaults took place between February 1976 and March 1983 and throughout his trial Smallman denied anything inappropriate had taken place.

However, a week ago last Friday at Oxford Crown Court, the 72-year-old, of Erica Close, Banbury, was found guilty of 15 counts of indecent assault on boys.

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Detective Constable Joanne Waddington, from the Thames Valley Police’s child abuse investigation unit, said: “I want to thank the victims who have shown a huge amount of courage by coming forward.

“It is possible that, despite our extensive enquires, further victims have not been identified and I would like to appeal to anyone who is a victim of a sexual offence, regardless of how many years ago the offence took place, to come forward and speak to police.”

Smallman was cleared of a further five counts of indecent assault.

He will be sentenced on January 12.

Anyone with information about alleged offences can call police on 101.

Only 18, but this is the face of a serial paedophile

Published November 21, 2014 by misty534
One of Archie Collicutt’s victims was 12 years old

One of Archie Collicutt’s victims was 12 years old

A SEXUAL predator who abused seven girls and threatened to have them and their families killed if they told anyone has been jailed for 10 years.

Archie Collicutt, of Wilcote Riding, Finstock, West Oxfordshire, was yesterday branded “dangerous” and given an extended prison sentence for raping and sexually abusing children as young as 12.

The 18-year-old admitted two counts of rape, two of sexual assault, two of sexual activity with a child and the attempted rape of a child under 13.

Two of Collicutt’s victims were just 12 years old, and the others were 13, 14, 15 and 17.

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He showed no emotion yesterday as he was told his young victims still suffered long-term consequences as a result of his crimes, including attempting suicide.

During his trial prosecutor Nigel Daly said the teen used Facebook and text messages to contact his victims, then abused some of them in a caravan.

The barrister added: “Although he is only 18, he is actually a dangerous paedophile.”

Collicutt’s conviction is one of the first major successes of the Kingfisher Unit, set up by Thames Valley Police, Oxfordshire County Council and Oxford Health to fight child sexual exploitation in the wake of the Bullfinch scandal.

Passing sentence in Oxford Crown Court, Judge Gordon Risius said the teenager told  the police a “pack of lies” when he was arrested and tried to blame his victims for his behaviour.

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 Det Insp Laura MacInnes, right, in The Kingfisher Unit, at Cowley Police Station, which deals with child sex exploitation crimes

He said: “It is impossible to predict the long-term consequences of your behaviour on the girls and their families.

“Teenage years can be difficult enough on their own, without having to fend off sexual predators like you.

“Some of the girls recorded victim personal statements, describing in some detail the effects of your behaviour.

“They include sleep and eating problems, attempted suicide, depression, stress and worry about giving evidence, visits to the doctor and counsellors, as well as changes in their personalities, lifestyles and their attitudes to life generally.

“And all because of your selfish determination to obtain sexual gratification for yourself regardless of their interests or wishes.

“You seem to demonstrate no empathy for your victims, whose ages you now claim not to have known, and you place the blame for what happened on them.”

Most of the abuse happened between May and September last year, except for the rape of a 12-year-old girl in the spring of 2012.

Judge Risius said after he raped his victim, Collicutt made the “appalling” threat that if she told anyone he would get travellers to kill a member of her family while she watched.

Mr Daly said similar threats were made to the other girls the defendant targeted the following year, along with threats he would kill them too.

Graham Logan, defending, said despite his client telling a probation officer he had not done anything wrong, he had now shown remorse for his actions. He said:

“With time this young man will come to terms fully with what went on.

“And with the assistance that will be given to him in prison when it comes to his release the risk he poses will have reduced considerably.”

Det Insp Laura MacInnes, from the Kingfisher Unit, said Collicutt’s victims spoke to their specially trained social workers and police officers, who then passed on the information to CID.

She said: “The whole investigation was a good example of our social workers receiving disclosures after building trust and a rapport with the girls.

“Then we sent one of our police investigators out to meet the children, and they had the confidence to make formal statements.”

A Thames Valley Police spokeswoman said social media and mobile phones also provided evidence that Collicutt was lying about not knowing some of his victims, including a voicemail message he left on one of their phones.

Investigating officer Det Con Ian Gibbard from Banbury CID said: “Collicutt deliberately took advantage of young girls, abusing them and threatening them in order to stop them telling anyone.

“I would like to take this opportunity to commend their bravery in coming forward to tell police what had happened to them.”

Collicutt will spend at least two thirds of his sentence in custody and then be subject to three extra years on licence.

Collicut preyed on their vulnerabilities

SOCIAL care team manager at the Kingfisher Unit Sue Evans, pictured, said building a case against Archie Collicutt started when one girl talked about his abuse.
She said: “We were working with one particular girl who disclosed some offences against her.

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Social care team manager at the Kingfisher Unit Sue Evans

“We put a social worker in and she did some work with this young person and she started disclosing about Archie Collicutt and having sex with him. She then gave us names of a couple of other girls who she thought had also been in a similar situation, and we went out and spoke to them.

“And I think that at the same time there were two other girls who had disclosed to the police over the weekend that they had been raped by him. It kind of all happened at the same kind of time. Two of the girls took a bit longer to disclose, and it’s about building up that trusting relationship with those young people.

“What the social workers do then is they come back to the team, they share the information with the police and it’s added to police intelligence.

“[In Collicutt’s case] the girls were so young and he was an older teenager – that made them more vulnerable.

“Because actually if you look at what most children want, to feel wanted, to feel needed, he preyed on that and their vulnerabilities.”

The Kingfisher unit

THE Kingfisher Unit was set up in November 2012 in the wake ofOperation Bullfinch, the trial that resulted in seven men receiving a total of 95 years in prison for their involvement in a child sex abuse ring in Oxford.

Based at Cowley Police Station, it is a partnership between Thames Valley Police, Oxfordshire County Council and Oxford Health that aims to identify and support children suffering abuse, and build cases against their abusers.

Det Insp Laura MacInnes said the team tries to see the “big picture” of where abuse is taking place by using information from a number of sources, including schools and parents.

She said: “It might be that someone there has got a very tiny piece of information but that could form the missing part of a bigger picture. And then we’re able then to do something.”