Pervert teacher Alan Birkby: the painstaking police investigation

THE police investigation into Alan Brikby required specially-trained officers and some painstaking delving into what happened several decades ago.

The first victim came to the police in January 2010, kicking off what was to be a lengthy and difficult investigation.

As Calderdale Police’s safeguarding team started looking into the allegations, more victims started coming forward and the true extent of Birkby’s abuse started to be revealed.

They included two people who came forward after reading reports of Birkby’s court appearances in the Halifax Courier.

Because the allegations dated back so far, officers had to get hold of records from 40 years ago in order to piece together the truth.

They worked closely with the school where the abuse took place and the with education authority throughout the investigation.

Birkby was arrested in April 2010 and in March this year, he admitted a series of allegations of indecent assault and indecency with a child.

His charges covered a period between January 1972 and January 1981 and involved a total of six boys then aged between seven and 11.

Detective Inspector Gail Lawrie, who leads the police safeguarding team, praised the victims for having the courage to speak out.

She added she wants people to feel confident to approach the police and specially-trained officers within the safeguarding unit.

She said all reports of abuse will be taken seriously, the victims will be listened to and, irrespective of how long ago any incident happened, a thorough investigation will take place.