Born in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England in 1958, Ian R. Tyler, was not the scholastic student the headmaster at Naunton Park Secondary School had hoped for. He was however, a great athlete and represented his school, and his county, at regional and national level in both athletics and football.
From school, Ian joined the Royal Marine Commandos, winning the ‘King’s Badge’ in The 211 King’s Squad. In recognition, the Royal Navy sent a senior officer to the school who donated a book prize, to be awarded to the best all round student every year, finally giving the principal and one particular Biology teacher what they wanted albeit a bit late. Awarded the coveted ‘Green Beret’ he served protecting the UK’s national interests. In 1979 he joined the Police Service, embarking upon a career that lasted over 28 years until he retired as a Detective Chief Inspector. Ian served with Gloucestershire Police, The Metropolitan Police, Hampshire Police, The Regional Crime Squad, The National Crime Squad, The National Criminal Intelligence Service, the Serious and Organised Crime Agency and the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP). At the latter he was a founder member of the operations faculty and the Virtual Global Taskforce.
Ian was awarded a number of commendations over his Police career, however, the awards he regards the most are the ones he received whilst at CEOP including an award presented by HRH Prince Edward in recognition for his outstanding contribution to child protection around the world. He is currently a deployable civilian expert with the UK’s Stabilisation Unit, a founder member of the Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative (PSVI), and a senior associate of Ineqe. He now lives in New Zealand with his wife and son.
Ian was approached by Michael Bilton, former writer and investigative journalist for the Sunday Times, author of ‘Wicked Beyond Belief’ and ‘Four Hours in My Lai’, and Ben Crichton, a producer for the BBC Crime Watch series, to write a true account of the investigation into the paedophile known as the ‘Son of God’. Ian decided that his recent signature upon the Official Secrets Act prevented him from telling a full true account, and that any attempt to write close to the line might endanger his liberty at some point in the future. So he set about writing an account which follows accurately the sequence of events that led to the arrest of, ‘Son of God’, and what happened afterwards. The aim was to produce an accurate police procedural work of fiction, using all available information within the public domain, told through the eyes of the senior investigating officer, and based on the real case.
Child sex abuse on the internet is a crime now widely reported on. The internet provided the criminal paedophile a safe haven, a place where they could be anybody they wanted to be. The nature of the www, a structure with no borders, provided them with an environment where law enforcement could not operate effectively. When the real ‘Son of God’ investigation took place this was true. However the tide turned. A new crime, the size, proportion and growth rate, the like of which has never been witnessed before, needed a new answer. It came in the shape of CEOP, the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre. Its staff were flung headlong into some of the most mentally difficult situations that humans can possibly be exposed to; the sexual abuse of our children on a global scale. There were no rules, guidelines, set ways of working, protocols or manuals to go by. The scale of the problem can be best explained by describing the author’s position. For eighteen months he was a single point of failure. He was on duty 24hrs a day, every day; because there was nobody to hand over to. And the pressure to succeed? Well, quite simply, you could not make a mistake, ever. If you did, you would leave a child to their fate, one which could have been saved.
The story of how they did it was something the media have asked time and again; they found it difficult to fully grasp how Police actually managed it. Well, this is the story, this is how they did it, not just once, but twice, creating new covert policing techniques, bringing with it a new breed of cop, and, a new history in the chapter of policing.
The Combined Online Child Exploitation Task Force, COCET, is volume 2 in the ‘Hope Without Borders’ trilogy and the sequel to the acclaimed ‘Hope Arises’. Based on extraordinary true events COCET, tells the story of a number of investigations that the author led whilst at CEOP, UK. The foreword for COCET has been written by Jim Gamble QPM, the first CEO of CEOP; providing some authenticity to the story line.
Ian has also helped shape New Zealand’s past and present child protection capability, with its membership of the Virtual Global Taskforce. A world leading expert in international child protection investigation, Ian spoke at the Auckland open debate about a Sex Offenders Register for New Zealand, paving the way for the phased disclosure process. He has recently provided expert evidence at the New Zealand Governments, Smith/Traynor Inquiry, and has given his time and support to a number of high profile cases going before the courts in New Zealand during 2015, one of which has led to another Government Inquiry.
Ian continues to provide help and assistance to the victims of child sex abuse through his helpline or direct contact.
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