Child protection chief resigns

By Peter Wozniak

The head of the child exploitation and online protection centre (Ceop) has resigned over plans to subsume the organisation into the mooted National Crime Agency.

Jim Gamble apparently objected to Home Office plans to merge the quango, arguing that the move would compromise its independence and effectiveness.

A statement from Ceop said of the proposed move: “This direction of travel does not seem to have changed and Ceop’s CEO, Jim Gamble, has therefore today offered his resignation to the home secretary with a four month notice period.”

Home secretary Theresa May rejected the suggestion that the proposed assimilation of Ceop would undermine child protection.

“The government recognises the importance of child protection and wants to build upon the work of Ceop, but does not necessarily feel this is best done by creating a new quango,” she said.

Ceop was designed to eradicate child abuse – with a particular focus on protecting children from malign users of the internet.

The government has been preparing the ground for a large-scale reduction in ‘quangos’, arguing that many are pointless or ineffective and wasteful.

Ms May’s Labour shadow Alan Johnson said: “The government’s plans will harm child safety networks.

“Their lack of consultation has led to the resignation of Mr Gamble who is highly respected within and outside of the organisation he served so well.”