Police praise for brave victims of Ryan Chambers

Commander of Milton Keynes Police, Barry Halliday
Commander of Milton Keynes Police, Barry Halliday

CITY police have spoken out about the ‘predatory’ nature of sex attacker Ryan Chambers.

In a series of statements made after Friday’s sentencing, officers also praised the bravery of his victims.

Investigating officer Detective Sergeant Sally Kestin, of the Child Abuse Investigation Unit (CAIU) based in Bletchley, said: “Ryan Chambers is a very dangerous and predatory young man who has a prolific desire to groom his victims in order to sexually abuse them. He would use a number of profiles set up on Facebook to contact girls and request they add him as a friend.

“If a girl accepted his friend request he would initiate conversations with them through Facebook as a ploy to obtain their phone numbers.

“His ultimate aim was to entice them around to his home where he would encourage them to have sex with him.

“The sheer number of girls involved meant we had to carry out a thorough and sensitive investigation, working closely with schools and relevant agencies from Milton Keynes Council, who were very supportive of our enquiries.

“We sent out a letter to more than 800 parents asking them to speak to their children to see if they had made contact with Chambers through Facebook or by text between summer 2010 and July 2011.

“We had a fantastic response from parents who were pleased police were dealing with a case like this and provided us with information crucial to our inquiry.

“As a result of the investigation we established Chambers had sexually abused four girls, all aged between 13 and 15 years old, and I would like to pay tribute to their bravery in disclosing the offences against them.”

She added: “I would advise parents to keep a close eye on their children’s internet use and ensure they are all aware of the risks associated with using social networking websites. For example, be aware that ‘POS’ means ‘parent over shoulder’ and could mean their son or daughter are altering their responses while you are actively monitoring. It is worth finding out whether your child can explain who all their ‘friends’ are on their site and which ones are strangers.

“While they are becoming a part of everyday living, social networking websites can provide a cloak of anonymity to offenders such as Ryan Chambers, who used one site for the sole purpose of grooming girls.”

Senior Investigating Officer Detective Chief Inspector Amanda Blake said: “The investigation into Ryan Chambers involved numerous departments within the police, partner agencies and the Milton Keynes Safeguarding Children Board, so it was a real team effort.

“The case was both complex and sensitive due to the nature of Chambers’ crimes and the number of people affected by the investigation. He is a very dangerous young man who preyed on very young girls and the fact he is now off the streets is a really good result.”

Superintendent Barry Halliday, commander of Milton Keynes, said: “The conviction of Chambers only re-enforces the position of the police; supported by our partners within the schools and Milton Keynes Council, we will investigate all such matters with determination and professionalism to secure justice for our young victims and their families.

“We all need to work together to keep the young people of our city safe and ensure the advice available to those using the Internet is readily accessible. The Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) website is a perfect way to ensure this happens.

“Milton Keynes police and our partners remain committed to safeguarding young people in Milton Keynes and this conviction is a clear demonstration of the strength of our powers and our determination to do so.”

Following Friday’s sentencing, Chief Executive of the CEOP Centre, Peter Davies said: “This case shows clearly that where children go online, those with a sexual interest in them will follow. I commend Thames Valley Police on this successful prosecution and for their vital work in bringing this offender to justice.

“I would encourage any parents who have concerns about their child’s online behaviour, or any child who is worried about what they are doing in their online community, to report to CEOP or their police force. It is through educating young people and helping them to report more easily that we will safeguard more children and ensure that offenders are brought to account.”