Disguising a dark side

Image 1It is hard to comprehend how it feels to be told someone you know has been arrested for indecent images of children offences.

Someone whose relative was arrested for such crimes has written to thank the officer involved for her support during this traumatic time.

I am writing this letter in order to pass on my gratitude and appreciation to the investigating officer in a case involving a family member.

In October 2015 we were contacted by the officer, telling me that my relative had been arrested for offences regarding images of children.  This news was at the time a shock beyond comprehension and has had deep reaching implications and devastation to me and my family.

I was soon to realise that the person we thought we knew, we didn’t. The front of being a pleasant charismatic person could have been to cover up a very dark side to which he had been gradually getting deeper and deeper into.

I realised that someone capable of being a manipulator was not going to reveal the truth, so rather than contacting the relative, we felt we had to ascertain the facts. After much courage, and with me physically shaking, I decided to ring the officer.

Police Officer Nikki Bedford
Investigation Officer Nikki Owen

Nikki had a very calming manner and told me the information she was allowed to about what had been going on.  I could tell that she could feel the pain and anguish that I was going through and was extremely understanding and professional. I would like to praise her for her attitude, openness and help.

She mentioned a couple of charities that might be able to help, including the Lucy Faithfull Foundation.  My emotions were all over the place but I decided to go onto the web site.  I was looking at a charity that offers support to people who should never be in a position to require it. I looked at the first page but could not bring myself to read more. From the media we routinely hear about horrendous things happening but never does anyone think it will involve their own family.

There is no doubt that the crimes your team investigate and have to deal with are
unimaginable.  The evidence you are forced to see and hear on a routine basis must be absolutely heart-breaking. And I hope that some form of support system is available.

I appreciate you can only touch the tip of the iceberg with your investigations and hope you get comfort from bringing the people you can to justice.

Over the following nine months I contacted Nikki on a number of occasions for updates and to ask questions about the legal process.  Every time she was supportive and caring and gave the information she could.  At times I just wanted to sound off my feelings and she could have quite easily chosen to direct me towards other organisations but instead listened and went well beyond her role.

My family member has now been through court and sentenced.  Nikki said if ever I had concerns relating to the crimes to get in touch.  I sincerely hope I don’t have any reason to get in contact but it is reassuring to know that I can if necessary.

I doubt in your job that you get many, if any, thanks for what you do.  I would like say thank you to the officer, you have been brilliant in very difficult circumstances.

This letter was received from relative of an offender convicted of indecent images offences, to thank investigation officer Nikki Owen from the Cyber Hub her compassion during what was a traumatic experience for the wider family.

As well as victims, crime has a ripple effect on loved ones and family members and there is support out there.

This family were signposted to help and advice from the Lucy Faithfull Foundation, a child protection charity dedicated to reducing the risk of children being sexually abused and provides support to victims, family members and abusers themselves.

Find out more at http://lucyfaithfull.org/.

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