Although there have been a number of incidents in the public domain concerning police officers in Hampshire having been arrested for offences against children and vulnerable persons, the accounts below are from my own personal knowledge having been directly involved with these cases.
Recent reports from members of the public regarding similar practices have been published and can be viewed by clicking on the New Milton Watch facebook page
Isle of Wight
Having transferred from the Metropolitan Police, Hampshire Constabulary at that time refused to recognize any experience or qualifications from other police forces. Before being able to return to the CID I had to go through Hampshire’s own selection process and in the interim I was a uniformed Patrol Sergeant.
I was based at Newport on the Isle of Wight and had a small team of uniformed police constables, whilst there I noticed that regularly matters involving children and young persons were not formally recorded and the relevant information was not being passed to partner agencies.
It was a similar situation with regards to domestic abuse and I took some interim measures to ensure that those matters were dealt with appropriately on my shift. I had a good team and was pleased with their work and motivated them by actively patrolling and encouraging them to deal with those matters which I found were neglected on the Island including child protection matters.
Whilst on duty one of my officers informed me that he had been approached by a young teenage girl who informed him that she had seen a male who had previously abused her and been involved with social services and the police in the company of young girls of the same age as she was at the time of the abuse. She was now 14 and the girls were aged around 9 and 10 years old. The suspect worked in Staples and the young girls would assist him in putting together flat pack furniture at the rear of the store.
The same suspect had previously run a small shop where he would get the young girls to try on dresses upstairs which was part of the previous case involving the 14 year old informant.
I had conducted some initial enquiries and felt that this was a matter that was best dealt with by the local child protection team or the CID. I was at that time a patrol sergeant and dealing with immediate responses; effectively 999 calls with on occasions just a couple of PCs who were not qualified in any event to deal with such matters.