§ Tim Loughton
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what changes are planned to the Operation Ore Child Protection Unit operated by the Metropolitan police.
§ Ms Blears
[holding answer 11 September 2003]: The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis advises me that the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) does not have a specific 'Operation Ore Child Protection Unit'. The MPS Child Protection Group manages all child abuse investigations including all Operation Ore subjects. The Group is led by a Detective Chief Superintendent and has an establishment of 418 specialist police officers and 150 civilian support staff.
The MPS Child Protection Group's health and safety strategy has required that a small number of officers who have served a long time within the Paedophile Unit be rotated to other duties. This has been misreported in the media as the disbanding of the Paedophile Unit. However the unit is in fact being expanded and made ready for the new legislation, including the Sexual Offences Bill, currently passing through Parliament.
§ Tim Loughton
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much has been spent on Operation Ore since it was set up.
§ Paul Goggins
[holding answer 11 September 2003]: Investigations concerning Operation Ore are carried out by paedophile units, child protection or investigation teams within police forces, assisted by computer crime units. The decision as to the level of funding that should be allocated to this type of work, and this specific investigation is the responsibility of individual chief police officers.
There is no central record held of the sums allocated to these units or the amount spent on individual operations.