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'Children at risk' if agency merger goes ahead

The former Northern Ireland policeman who headed up the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) has once again warned that children will be put at risk by Government moves to subsume the agency into a new FBI-style crime-fighting agency.

Jim Gamble, who resigned in October when it was announced by Home Secretary Theresa May that the anti-paedophile unit would be merged into the a new National Crime Agency, said last night that the decision was not in the interests of children.

The NCA will replace the existing Serious and Organised Crime Agency and the Child Exploitation & Online Protection Centre.

Mr Gamble said that to merge CEOP within such a large agency would undermine attempts to keep children safe from paedophiles and other abusers on the internet. He added: "This decision is fundamentally wrong."

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