Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC - formerly IPCC)
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Current and former Essex Police officers charged over failures in child abuse cases

Following a managed investigation two officers from Essex Police are to face charges of three counts each of misconduct in public office.

DC Sharon Patterson and former DC Lee Pollard both previously worked in the North Child Abuse Investigation Team (NCAIT).The charged offences relate to falsifying charging decisions, forging a complainant’s signature, misrepresenting evidence to their senior officers and destroying exhibits.

A file of evidence from this investigation was passed to the Crown Prosecution Service in February 2017 and recently (Tuesday, 6 February) the two officers were notified that the CPS has authorised charges against them.

In relation to four further individuals (DC to DS ranks) the CPS has determined that the evidence does not support a prosecution. One remains a serving Detective Constable and will now face gross misconductproceedings.

IOPC Regional Director Sarah Green said:

“These are very serious allegations over how police officers handled some of the most sensitive cases brought before them.

“The investigative phase has now concluded, on what has been a comprehensive and extensive IOPC managed investigation, during which more than 160 witnesses gave statements and 26 officers were interviewed for either criminal offences or misconduct matters and in excess of 500 exhibits were catalogued.

“After reviewing the investigation reports there was an indication that some current and former officers may have committed criminal offences. Following the decision by the Crown Prosecution Service to charge we will be working with them to bring this matter before the courts and every effort has been made to notify the survivors involved in those cases.”

The IOPC has been managing a total of 55 investigations into alleged failings in child abuse investigations carried out by officers in Essex Police’s NCAIT between 2011 and 2014.

DC Sharon Patterson and former DC Lee Pollard will appear before Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court on 9 March on three counts each of misconduct in public office.


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