The three-year operation is now being wound up, in which 7,272 Britons were caught after the US Postal Service raided a subscription-based website offering access to thousands of images of abused children. Details of the Britons were passed to Britain's National Crime Squad.
Of the 7,272 questioned for downloading illegal images, around 2,000 people were convicted and cautioned as a result of the operation. Around 500 admitted their guilt and accepted a police caution. Others arrested were released without charge. At least 38 suspects have committed suicide. 1,400 who are not able to be convicted because of insufficient evidence are on a list circulated to police forces to keep on file. Many cases are still going throught the courts.
Adding those numbers, I get around 3,938 accounted for. Which means 3,334 are either still going through the courts or were released without charge.
I was particularly interested in all this, because I remember at the beginning
, three years ago, police in the UK complained that they lacked the resources to investigate all the names, and so 'put children at risk
(Here's a technical explanation of some of the forensic difficulties
in these cases.)
The operation cost around £10 million. Peanuts.
These people have sponsored child-abusers, the photographers of child abuse and the website owners and, by so doing, have encouraged more child abuse.
It is my opinion that child abuse is a worse crime than murder. In murder, the victim is killed; in child abuse, the victim is tortured for life. Though murder is terrible, torture for life is horrendous.
I believe, too, that, as a species, a primary factor determining our level of civilisation must be how we treat our young: they are the future of the species and in our natural care and nurture for that role.H O W E V E R
There is some very extensive research available which finds "Operation Ore was the largest miscarriage of justice
in the UK this century and an unprecedented violation of civil rights."
Click here for the short story
Here for the full research
Another site investigating Operation Ore: OBU Investigators UK
Having just been through all
that above; putting together the child-abuse and the conduct of the investigation, and considering our responsibility for our children's care, I conclude that we're either way less civilised than we think we are, or we have completely lost the plot!Meanwhile...
Just one more thing: how are we doing, I wonder, with the national computerised database which was to prevent any more Ian Huntleys getting a job such as that which led to deaths of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman in the Soham murders? The last I heard, a couple of years ago, was that those responsible for setting it up could not agree on a system; and the systems they were looking at would cost a fortune. On the other hand, I heard, Scotland already has a system that does the job and would cost little to set up. But that was too simple for the English, we must have a system that's complicated and expensive, that we can keep arguing over (and repairing). Meanwhile...