Confused by all those child sexual abuse inquiries?
NSPCC Chief Executive Peter Wanless was asked to look at a previous inquiry carried out by the Home Office into how it had dealt with allegations from Tory MP Geoffrey Dickens in the 1980s that prominent public figures had sexually abused children.
The Home Office inquiry, carried out last year, “found no record of specific allegations by Mr Dickens,” according to Home Secretary Theresa May.
She announced in July that “with allegations as serious as these the public need to have complete confidence in the integrity of the investigation’s findings” – and asked Mr Wanless to carry out another review.
His team concluded that “we found nothing to support a concern that files had been deliberately or systematically removed or destroyed to cover up organised child abuse”.
Expert panel’s independent inquiry
Wanless is very much a sideshow to the overarching inquiry also announced by Mrs May in the summer.
This expert panel is looking at whether institutions in England and Wales failed to protect children from sexual abuse, in the light of “growing evidence of organised child sexual abuse, conducted over many years, and serious allegations about the failure of some of our most important institutions to protect children from this disgusting crime”.
The inquiry, which will bring together all of the work of the numerous other investigations into child sexual abuse, has been plunged into chaos since its inception, with the resignation of two chairmen.
Fiona Woolf stood down over her links to former home secretary Lord Leon Brittan, while Baroness Elizabeth Butler-Sloss, whose brother Sir Michael Havers was attorney general in the 1980s, when some of the abuse is said to have taken place.
A new chairman is being sought at the moment and the panel’s report is not expected until after the 2015 general election.
There are several ongoing inquiries into former DJ, TV presenter and predatory paedophile Jimmy Savile (pictured above), who died in 2011.
Dame Janet Smith is carrying out an investigation into the “culture and practices” at the BBC, when Savile worked there.
Her team is looking at whether the broadcaster’s child protection and whistle-blowing policies are up to scratch, and is due to publish its report by the end of this year.
An inquiry into BBC Newsnight’s decision to drop a report about alleged sexual abuse by Savile, published in 2012, found that what happened was flawed and management were incapable of dealing with the issue.
In 2012, the Metropolitan police launched an investigation – Operation Yewtree – into allegations of sexual abuse by Savile and other people over four decades.
As a result of Yewtree, but unconnected to Savile, Rolf Harris, Dave Lee Travis (pictured above) and Max Clifford have all been convicted.
Harris, a TV presenter, was found guilty on 12 charges of indecent assault against four girls and sentenced to five years and nine months in jail. Clifford, a PR agent, was convicted of eight indecent assaults on women, including a 15-year-old, and jailed for eight years. Travis, a former BBC DJ, was convicted of indecently assaulting a woman and received a three-month suspended sentence.
West Yorkshire police published a report in 2013 into its relationship with Savile, concluding that while he had not been protected from arrest or prosecution, there had been an “over-reliance on personal friendships” between him and some officers.
Savile’s abuse of patients on NHS premises is also being investigated. Inquiries at 28 trusts have already established that the age of his victims ranged from five to 75, with the assaults occurring between 1962 and 2009. Another nine NHS organisations are carrying out similar inquiries.
Sir Cyril Smith
Police in Greater Manchester and Lancashire are looking into allegations that former Liberal Democrat MP Sir Cyril Smith (pictured above), who died in 2010, abused boys at Knowl View School in Rochdale.
An independent report published in 2013 found that a “catalogue of failures” by police, social workers and health professionals allowed sex-grooming gangs to flourish in Rochdale. The serious case review was launched after nine men were convicted of the systematic grooming and sexual abuse of girls in Greater Manchester.
In 2014, a report by Professor Alexis Jay found that around 1,400 children had been sexually exploited in the South Yorkshire town between 1997 and 2013. It said that in more than a third of cases the children involved were known to the authorities, but they failed to intervene.
In 2013, police said they had found “significant evidence of systemic and serious sexual and physical abuse of children” at north Wales care homes, including 140 allegations of offences against seven to 19-year-olds.