Nottinghamshire MP claims county council has destroyed files relating to child sex abuse

By Nottingham Post  |  Posted: July 08, 2014

By Ellie Cullen

John Mann MP claims the county council has destroyed files relating to child sex abuse

John Mann MP claims the county council has destroyed files relating to child sex abuse
An MP is demanding an inquiry after claiming that Nottinghamshire County Council had routinely destroyed files into child sex abuse.
John Mann says six constituents have come to him over the past year claiming they had been abused as children.
When the MP looked into the cases, he says he was told by the council that the social services files had been destroyed.
The Government has announced a major inquiry into child abuse after it was revealed that 114 Home Office files relating to claims of abuse had disappeared from Government records.

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Mr Mann said: “Six constituents this year have come to me all alleging child abuse against a number of different, unconnected alleged perpetrators.
“No prosecutions were brought, despite them reporting the alleged abuse. I’ve found that in some cases, social services files have been destroyed by the county council.
“The council said after a period of time they destroy their files. I find that unacceptable. On what basis? Who determines that policy to destroy the files? Why were they destroyed?
“I do not see how the social services department can make a decision like that.”
Mr Mann raised the issue in the House of Commons on Monday, after Home Secretary Theresa May had announced the major inquiry into child sex abuse.
He said: “This year in Bassetlaw, six people have come forward and made allegations of historical child abuse, but there have been no prosecutions, Nottinghamshire Police have lost files and Nottinghamshire social services have destroyed files. Will that be in the remit of one of these investigations now taking place?”
Mrs May replied: “The whole point of the inquiry panel is to look at lessons learned as a result of these various reviews of historical allegations that have taken place. Obviously, I would expect it to be wide ranging in ensuring that it is indeed identifying all the lessons that need to be learned and the actions that need to be taken.”
Mr Mann told the Post he had also written to the CPS and police demanding his constituents’ cases be reopened.
He added: “I can’t comment on any of the individual cases, but don’t anyone try and tell me that if six people come forward, that they are all making it up.
“I believe my constituents and I believe they are victims.
“They want action and prosecutions – and they deserve action.”
Nottinghamshire County Council’s service director for children’s social care, Steve Edwards, said: “We are aware of the question that was raised in the House of Commons by John Mann MP.
“We are contacting Mr Mann to seek further clarification about his comments relating to this matter. Until this point, we will not be able to provide any further comment.
“We treat all allegations of abuse seriously whether current or historic and we will of course co-operate with any request for information.”
Nottinghamshire Police said they would also be making contact with Mr Mann to discuss his concerns.
Last year the Post reported on the case of Michael Summers, who claimed he had been abused at care homes in Nottinghamshire.
He had asked both Nottingham City Council and Nottinghamshire County Council for the release of his files to help his case.
But the records, kept by the county council on behalf of the city, were not found.
The county council said there was a note on their records from 1978 saying the files had been destroyed.

Read more at http://www.nottinghampost.com/Bassetlaw-MP-claims-county-council-destroyed/story-21343300-detail/story.html#3hWZIswmJwdku5Pp.99

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