In 1990 the Home Office were made aware of the the multi-million pound trade in child snuff videos. Video's were being made in the UK using children stolen from children's homes.
Times, The (London, England)-July 28, 1990
Author: Mark Souster
DAVID Waddington, the home secretary, said yesterday that he was shocked at reports that so-called snuff films may exist in Britain and promised prompt police action to counter the threat. Mr Waddington said that he was very concerned about police fears that young boys may have been killed by paedophiles who had filmed their deaths.
Mr Waddington said that he could not imagine “any criminal behaviour that causes more concern to the public. The stories about these videos are horrific, absolutely horrific, and the police are wasting no time in carrying out extensive enquiries. They are sufficiently worried about this for me to be watching the situation very closely.”
Mr Waddington made his remarks after Scotland Yard had disclosed that detectives were investigating the disappearance of 20 young boys since 1984, some of whom may have been the victims of snuff films.
Last night, MPs and child protection agencies called for government intervention to combat what one MP described as “the horror, squalor, sordidness and downright evil” of paedophile sex films, which make multi-million pound profits for organised crime. Scotland Yard confirmed that the disappearance of boys over a six-year period was being investigated as well as deaths “during the making of films in London dating back to 1984″.
The announcement comes after a year-long operation, code-named Orchid, by a squad of officers in east London. Police want to hear from anyone who may have been involved in the making of such films and suffered sexual abuse, or anyone who has any information. A telephone line has been set up on 071-488 6570 and calls will be treated in confidence.
Suspicions that between six and 12 youngsters were filmed as they died after being enticed to parties are being investigated. Victims as young as six years have been abused and tortured before being killed, police believe.
Fresh information has been given to police by at least two men jailed for the murder of Jason Swift, a schoolboy, whose death in 1985 was rumoured to have been filmed. He was raped by a gang of men and suffocated in a London flat. Four men, serving sentences totalling 62 years, were convicted at the Central Criminal Court last year of his manslaughter. In May, because of the new information, police dug up a car park by a synagogue in Clapton, east London, in search of a boy’s body. Fragments of animal bone were found.
The possibility that snuff films have surfaced in Britain has angered MPs, among them Geoffrey Dickens, Conservative MP for Littleborough and Saddleworth, who has campaigned for ten years against child pornography. He called on the prime minister to issue a “grave and personal warning” to parents.
David Young, Labour MP for Bolton South East, said that efforts to break such evil practices had been “too little and far too late”. Child pornography should be at the top of the political agenda.
Valerie Howarth, director of Childline, which receives more than 10,000 calls a day from distressed children, said some had spoken of being shown pornographic films and asked to perform similar scenes. She had no evidence of children featuring in snuff films in Britain, but said it was vital that the issue of child pornography was confronted before European border controls were eased in 1992.