A discredited and defunct police technique that destroyed innocent people's lives with false allegations of child abuse and carried a high risk of wrongful convictions is being used by the Government's new crime-fighting agency, a Huddersfield MP has said.
Labour's Barry Sheerman claimed the National Crime Agency (NCA) was using controversial "trawling" techniques to find evidence against teachers and social workers in its investigation into historic child abuse in North Wales care homes.
Mr Sheerman said social workers and educationalists were once again having their lives ruined and being left in limbo as the NCA uses the method in its Operation Pallial investigation.
Trawling was used by many of the police forces in England and Wales in the late 1990s and early 2000s to investigate historic abuse allegations in children's homes. The method involves police trawling for information from a wide net of former residents.
In 2002, the Home Affairs Select Committee concluded that trawling "produces unreliable evidence for the prosecution" and created "a new genre of miscarriages of justice".
The committee stated "trawling is said to provide fertile conditions for the generation of false allegations" and said "the risks of effecting a miscarriage of justice in these cases are said to be unusually high".
Police Minister Damian Green said he would investigate Mr Sheerman's allegation.