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TIME'S UP FOR MONSTER TEAM; Boss saves staff from damage: EXCLUSIVE.

Byline: DEREK ALEXANDER

THE boss of Scotland's elite sex crimes unit has banned members of his team from staying in the job for more than 18 months at a time.

Top QC Derek Ogg says he wants to prevent his prosecutors being mentally scarred by horrific abuse cases they deal with.

He is the head of the National Sex Crimes Unit, set up last year to prosecute the most horrific sex criminals, including rapists, paedophiles, child-sex rings and internet perverts.

As he prepares to introduce a new team of advocate deputes, he said: "The idea when we started was no one in the team would stay longer than 12 months, as it's a harrowing job.

"But a lot of them have been fantastic and wanted to remain, so it's been agreed the maximum anyone can stay is now 18 months.

"It doesn't matter how good anyone is at their job, though - once their time is up they have to move on.

"We'll stagger people leaving the team so there's a fund of experience and common knowledge at all times.

"But when an advocate depute does leave, they do so with what's effectively a badge that says they've worked with the NSCU and have expertise in prosecuting sex crimes.

"That will be invaluable because there's no many trials that the team can't cover all of them."

The NSCU was only set up in March 2009 but has already become a major force in jailing sex offenders.

Ogg added: "In three years, around two-thirds of all advocate deputes will have worked solely with the NSCU unless they've specifically asked not to.

"Advocate deputes have a basic sex-crime training. Our unit takes on more sensitive cases but as the unit rotates, everyone will have the same expertise.

"There's nothing to stop someone coming back to the unit but I'd want them to have had a damn good break from it first."

Ogg made the decision not to personally review the more distressing evidence his team deals with, such as images of child sex abuse.

He said: "I'm here on a permament basis as the head of the NSCU so I took the decision not to look at these harmful images.

"It's a defense mechanism and I trust the police and my team with this difficult job."

'However good they are, they have to move on' - DEREK OGG

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Tough job: Derek Ogg
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Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Aug 29, 2010
Words:400
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