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Grandparent looking for advice

Posted: Tue Jul 27, 2021 2:08 pm
by Newrose
Hi, I’ve just joined this forum and this is my first post. I’m looking for some advice and any input that may be useful.
My son in law was arrested nearly a year ago regarding downloading indecent images of children. He told us later that this was a result of an IP address check. He was taken and questioned during which time he did not request a solicitor. His (and my daughter’s) devices were seized. When we talked to him about this he claimed that the police were investigating one incident of downloading and that he was wholly innocent, which is why he did not feel the need for a solicitor. He claimed that they would not find anything on the devices, because there was nothing to hide and he has maintained his innocence all this time. At that time my daughter stood by him, although he was bailed and could not stay in a house overnight with a minor present (including his own home). Child Services also imposed an order preventing seeing our grand daughter unless one of us was present. He claims to know very little about the origin or substance of the allegations. The devices have still not been examined as yet. Over the course of this last year the marriage has steadily broken down and is now completely irretrievable. My queries are these.
1) would the police really act on a single allegation? What alerts them and what actually triggers an investigation?
2) what details must the police give about the allegations to my son in law. Eg details such as exact date/time etc (to see if was actually at home when an offence took place) and where the allegation originated from (eg from an individual or from his internet service provider). He claims to know very little about the details, but we don’t know whether to believe him. I could see why they would not give at least some details at this stage so as not to allow him to construct a narrative against them.
3) does my daughter have any rights to know any details of the actual allegations against him (such as those already shown above) directly from the police? I suspect I know the answer to this already but would be grateful for any experiences.
4) given the allegations, I am actually quite surprised that both the police and CS have not followed up on either my daughter and grand daughter at all in nearly a year. They assessed the risk of harm to our grand daughter as very low, which makes us really confused as to the nature and scope of the allegations and police investigation. It’s almost as if neither organisation is taking this particularly seriously. That is despite the fact that when they came to the house, there were four carloads, making absolutely sure the neighbours were aware as they arrived.

I don’t know if this the appropriate place to ask these questions but have not found any answers in my own searching until I came to this website. I have no idea if he is innocent or guilty and any answers to the questions above may help us in whether we believe him or not. Some people would say innocent until proven guilty. Others say no smoke without fire. One hears of cases of hacking of people’s WiFi as apparently security on home WiFi is generally very poor. Even if they find nothing on the devices, can we be sure he is innocent, even if he is discharged? Our grand daughter is very young and so far we have managed to shield her to a large extent, but this will come to a head soon, when the split occurs fully. Should he be charged, that will hasten things further which we are dreading. Our daughter has been severely traumatised by the whole experience and the longer this goes on the more severe the long term scars will be. To me it is completely unacceptable that anyone should have to wait for so long between arrest and charging or discharging on such a crime as this, especially given the profound effects on the innocent family around the alleged perpetrator. If anyone can help us from their experience or profession, that would be incredibly helpful. Frankly we are at our wits end. I have never even seen the inside of a police station let alone been involved in anything. Sorry to go on at such length.

Re: Grandparent looking for advice

Posted: Thu Sep 02, 2021 12:18 pm
by Suzie, FRG Adviser
Dear Newrose

Firstly, may I apologise for not responding to you sooner.

Thank you for your post, for your information we have a forum where family and friends and other carers discuss issues, ask questions etc, it can be found here.

In answer to your questions, may I suggest that you have a look at (or contact) Lucy Faithful – Stop it Now and the NSPCC – Women as Protectors for a greater understanding. Prisoner’s Families helpline has some very useful information about the process too.

In general, though (a) the police will respond to any allegation that an individual has accessed or is accessing indecent images of children. (b) I imagine that your son in law is or was aware of the allegations that the police put to him – they would inform him of the reasons for their arrest. (c) Your daughter may ask questions but may not necessarily be told the answers she requires – the police may discuss matters if that might safeguard an individual, they are however subject to the Data Protection Act 1998 and other Acts that protect individuals’ rights not to have their personal information shared with others.

It is not clear from what you write what Children’s Services did at the time, but you have said that they advised that your son in law should not have unsupervised access to his child. Here is some information about child protection and about children in need.

I hope this information is useful to you, again apologies for the delay.

Best wishes