Child abuse investigations

Child abuse investigations

Here are the main ongoing investigations and inquiries into historical abuse allegations in institutions around the UK.

Child abuse inquiries and investigations

Independent inquiry Announced on 7 July 2014, the independent inquiry will investigate the way public bodies handled child sex abuse claims. Former judge Elizabeth Butler-Sloss was chosen to head the inquiry, but she stepped down following concerns about her family links. She was replaced by Fiona Woolf, the Lord Mayor of London. But on 31 October 2014 she also stood down after concerns were raised over her social links to the former Home Secretary Leon Brittan. A new head is now needed, and the inquiry is not expected to report before the 2015 general election.
Home Office review Headed by NSPCC chief executive Peter Wanless, the review examined Home Office handling of historical child sex abuse allegations and the way police and prosecutors dealt with information given to them. This followed a call from Labour MP Simon Danczuk to explain why written allegations about powerful paedophiles – presented in the 1980s to Lord Brittan when he was home secretary – have since disappeared. A 2013 Home Office review of allegations concerning child abuse from 1979-99 resulted in four files, not previously disclosed, being passed to police. But the review found no evidence of specific allegations of abuse by prominent public figures.
Cyril Smith/Rochdale Two investigations – by Greater Manchester Police (GMP) and Rochdale Council. On 7 July 2014, GMP said it was considering widening its inquiry into claims of a cover-up involving child abuse at Knowl View School, Rochdale, in the 1980s and 1990s. It said Rochdale Council had agreed to suspend its own inquiry while it considered how to proceed.
Savile NHS inquiry Newly-published reports found Jimmy Savile sexually assaulted victims aged five to 75 between 1962 and 2009 in 28 hospitals, including Broadmoor and Leeds General Infirmary. Reports relating to 13 other NHS organisations, including Stoke Mandeville Hospital, are yet to be published.
Dept for Education Headed by human rights lawyer Lucy Scott-Moncrieff to look at allegations Savile abused children in schools and children’s homes, from the 1960s to 1980s.
Savile BBC inquiry Dame Janet Smith is investigating whether culture and practice at the BBC enabled Savile to carry out abuse of children unchecked – due to report before the end of 2014.
Operation Yewtree Police investigation into Savile and others. An investigation by the Metropolitan Police and NSPCC reported in January 2013 on allegations against Savile. Cases which emerged as a result of investigations into Savile, but were unconnected to him, included Max Clifford, Rolf Harris and Dave Lee Travis. Investigations into other suspects are continuing.
Operation Fairbank/
Operation Fairbank was a “scoping exercise” by the Met Police to establish whether there was sufficient evidence for a formal inquiry. Operation Fernbridge was subsequently launched in Feb 2013 to investigate allegations about a paedophile network linked to Parliament and Number 10 centred on Elm Guest House in south-west London. Operation Cayacos is investigating allegations of a paedophile ring linked to convicted paedophile Peter Righton.
Pallial inquiry Investigating allegations of historical abuse between 1953-95 at 28 children’s homes in North Wales. Also Mrs Justice Macur appointed by PM to review the 2000 Waterhouse inquiry into North Wales abuse dating back to the 1970s.
Historical Institutional Abuse
(Northern Ireland)
Set up to establish if there were systemic failings by institutions or the state in their duties towards children in their care between 1922-95. Due to report January 2017.
Operation Garford, Suffolk Investigating historical abuse allegations centred on Kesgrave Hall School from the 1970s to the 1990s. Results of the original investigation, carried out in 1992, are being reviewed. Suffolk police are carrying out two further, unconnected investigations into allegations of abuse at two other schools.
Jersey care inquiry Investigating historical abuse claims in Jersey’s care system from 1960 to present day, began July 2014.

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