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PCC statement on Essex Police investigation into Martin Goldberg

Following the launch of an Essex Police investigation into Martin Goldberg – Deputy Head Teacher at Thorpe Hall School – Nick Alston, Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex, issued the following statement:

“I am greatly concerned to learn that evidence gathered by Essex Police strongly suggests that Martin Goldberg was covertly filming boys at various locations, including a public swimming bath.
“I am a parent and a grandparent, and I share the shock, concern and anger that people in our communities are feeling about Goldberg’s behaviour.�
“Essex Police is still investigating the extent of Goldberg’s activity, and I understand there is currently no evidence of child abuse involving physical contact.  There is also currently no evidence that photographs that he took were shared with other people.  I am thankful for both those reassurances but taking photographs or filming video of naked or partially naked young boys is a clear and absolute violation.  This is abusive behaviour.
“As Police and Crime Commissioner, I have asked Essex Police for a full briefing about this case.  I understand the original information from police in Toronto suggesting that Goldberg had purchased videos of naked boys several years ago was received by Essex Police in late November 2013.  The Police Online Investigation Team first visited Goldberg on September 9, 2014.  It is important that we understand why it took nine months for the force to act on this information. There may be valid reasons but we deserve an explanation
“Essex Police has referred aspects of this case to the Independent Police Complaints Commission, and I expect the independent watchdog to investigate thoroughly and rigorously.  It would be wrong of me to pre-empt the findings of that investigation, but my initial judgement is that it is likely that something has gone badly wrong here, including possibly in the original assessment and review by CEOP
“I have also asked Essex Police urgently to review any information or intelligence they possess, such as the material from police in Toronto, about potential paedophile activity in our county and the processes for risk assessment reports of such activity.  It is essential that our communities have confidence that Essex Police is doing everything in its power to investigate intelligence or information about paedophiles in a rapid and thorough fashion.”

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