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IICSA Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

Children Outside the United Kingdom Phase 2 Investigation Report

Annex 1: Overview of process and evidence obtained by the Inquiry

1. Definition of scope

The Protection of Children Outside the United Kingdom investigation is an inquiry into the extent to which institutions and organisations based in England and Wales have taken seriously their responsibilities to protect children outside the United Kingdom from sexual abuse.

The scope of this investigation is as follows:

“1. The Inquiry will investigate the extent to which institutions and organisations based in England and Wales have taken seriously their responsibilities to protect children outside of the United Kingdom from sexual abuse. The investigation will incorporate case­ specific investigations, a review of information available from published and unpublished reports and reviews, court cases, and investigations.

2. In investigating the extent to which institutions have taken seriously their duty to protect children abroad, the Inquiry will consider, in particular:

2.1. whether government departments, public authorities, private and/or charitable institutions based in England and Wales have taken sufficient care to protect those children they may have sent or placed abroad;

2.2. whether the armed forces, government departments, public authorities, private and/or charitable institutions based in England and Wales have taken sufficient care to ensure that their employees do not pose a risk to children living abroad and/or whether they have taken appropriate steps in response to allegations that their employees were involved in the sexual abuse of children abroad;

2.3. whether the responses of government departments based in England and Wales to reports of institutional failures to protect children from sexual abuse in overseas territories and crown dependencies have been appropriate;

2.4. whether law enforcement agencies, the criminal justice system, and any other public authorities have been effective in preventing foreign travel by, or notifying foreign authorities of, individuals known to the UK authorities as posing a risk to children.

3. The inquiry will consider the appropriateness of the statutory and regulatory framework relevant to child sexual abuse abroad, including in relation to:

3.1. the operation of the statutory vetting and barring regime by organisations recruiting individuals to work abroad;

3.2. monitoring of child sexual abusers by the criminal justice and law enforcement agencies in England and Wales;

3.3. civil orders, including sexual offences prevention orders, foreign travel orders and risk of sexual harm orders provided by the Sexual Offences Act 2003; and sexual harm prevention orders and sexual risk orders provided by the Sexual Offences Act 2003, as amended by the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

4. In light of the investigations set out above, the Inquiry will publish a report setting out its findings, lessons learned, and recommendations to improve the protection of children outside of the United Kingdom for whom institutions in England and Wales may have some responsibilities.”[1]

The first phase of this investigation was a case study on the Child Migration Programmes. The Inquiry published its report on this phase on 1 March 2018.[2]

In March 2018, the Inquiry published an update note announcing that the second phase of this investigation would investigate:

“the adequacy of the civil framework for the prevention of, and notification to foreign authorities of, foreign travel by individuals known to the UK authorities as posing a risk to children”.[3]

In August 2018, the Inquiry published a decision on scope expanding the scope of the second phase of the investigation to include:

“issues related to the statutory vetting and barring regime, and issues related to the use and efficacy of section 72 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003”.[4]

This phase of the Protection of Children Outside the UK investigation therefore considered three broad issues:

  • the framework of civil orders for the prevention of foreign travel by individuals known to the UK authorities as posing a risk to children;[5]
  • the use of section 72 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003, which creates extra-territorial jurisdiction in respect of child sexual abuse; and
  • the operation of the disclosure and barring regimes by organisations recruiting individuals to work abroad.

2. Core participants and legal representatives

Counsel to this investigation:

Henrietta Hill QC
Julia Faure Walker
Antonia Benfield

 

Independent core participants:

Every Child Protected Against Trafficking UK (ECPAT UK)
Counsel Caoilfhionn Gallagher QC and Keina Yoshida
Solicitor Zubier Yazdani, Deighton Pierce Glynn
Child Redress International (CRI)
Counsel Caoilfhionn Gallagher QC and Keina Yoshida
Solicitor Silvia Nicolaou Garcia, Simpson Millar

 

Institutional core participants:

Home Office
Counsel Nick Griffin QC and Amelia Walker
Solicitor Daniel Rapport, Government Legal Department for the Treasury Solicitor
National Crime Agency
Counsel Neil Sheldon QC
Solicitor Sarah Pritchard and Hilary Dyer, NCA Legal Department
National Police Chiefs’ Council
Counsel Stephen Morley
Solicitor Craig Sutherland and Matthew Greene, East Midlands Police Legal Services
Crown Prosecution Service
Counsel Zoe Johnson QC
Solicitor Laura Tams, CPS Inquiries team
British Council
Counsel Aswini Weereratne QC
Solicitor Alison Gale, British Council Senior Legal Advisor

3. Evidence received by the Inquiry

Number of witness statements obtained:
56
Organisations and individuals to which requests for documentation or witness statements were sent:
Action Pour Les Enfants
Association of Chief Police Officers Criminal Records Office
British Council
Catherine Spreckley (former Trustee and Chair of KISS)
Child Redress International
Child Wise
Christine Beddoe (freelance consultant and former Director of ECPAT UK)
College of Policing
Council of British International Schools
Council of International Schools
Crown Prosecution Service
Department for International Development
Disclosure and Barring Service
ECPAT International
ECPAT UK
ECPAT USA
Educational Collaborative for International Schools
Equations
Father Shay Cullen (founder and President of PREDA Foundation)
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Gwent Police
Hertfordshire Constabulary
Home Office
International Taskforce on Child Protection
Lancashire Constabulary
Ministry of Defence
Ministry of Justice
National Crime Agency
National Police Chiefs’ Council
OU-A1
OU-A2
OU-A3
OU-A4
OU-A5
OU-A6
OU-X1
Project Karma
South Yorkshire Police
Staffordshire Police
Voice of the Free
West Midlands Police

 

4. Disclosure of documents

 

Total number of pages disclosed: 8,551

 

5. Public hearings including preliminary hearings

 

Preliminary hearings
1 6 June 2018
2 31 October 2018
Public hearings
Days 1–5 11–15 February 2019

 

6. List of witnesses

 

Surname Forename Title Called, read, summarised or adduced Hearing day
OU-A1 Summarised 1
OU-A2 Summarised 1
OU-A3 Summarised 1
OU-A5 Summarised 1
Patel Bharti Ms Called 1
Loseño Sherryl Ms Read 1
Spreckley Catherine Ms Summarised 1
Beddoe Christine Ms Called 1
Samleang Seila Mr Called 2
Smolenski Carol Ms Read 2
Lemineur Marie-Laure Ms Called 2
Cullen Shay Father Summarised 2
Binford W Warren H Professor Called 2
Hulley Glen Mr Called 3
French Cecilia Ms Called 3
Ray Joyatri Ms Summarised 3
Jones Robert Mr Called 3
Downey Adele Ms Summarised 3
Price Robert Mr Summarised 3
Skeer Michelle Chief Constable Called 4
Cherry Gillian Police Sergeant Summarised 4
Southern Susan Assistant Chief Constable Summarised 4
Forber Tim Assistant Chief Constable Summarised 4
Edwards Joanne Assistant Chief Constable Summarised 4
Barnett Emma Assistant Chief Constable Summarised 4
Jephson William Assistant Chief Constable Summarised 4
Brain Nicola Detective Superintendent Summarised 4
McGill Gregor Mr Called 4
Davison Gordon Mr Summarised 4
Gould Matthew Mr Summarised 4
Reeve Robert Mr Summarised 4
Jones Peter Mr Called 4
Taylor Peter Mr Read 4
OU-X1 Read 4
Greer Adrian Mr Called 5
Cooper Mike Mr Summarised 5
Larsson Jane Ms Called 5
Bell Colin Mr Called 5

 

7. Restriction orders

 

On 7 February 2019, the Chair issued a restriction order under section 19 of the Inquiries Act 2005 granting anonymity to the witness known as OU-X1. The order covered (i) any information that identifies or tends to identify OU-X1 and (ii) any information that identifies or tends to identify the nature or details of work currently undertaken by OU-X1. The order prohibited the publication and disclosure to core participants, other than the National Crime Agency, the National Police Chiefs’ Council, the Crown Prosecution Service, the Home Office and the British Council, of the information covered by the order.[6]

On 1 April 2019, the Chair issued a restriction order under section 19 of the Inquiries Act 2005 to prohibit the disclosure or publication of the name of any individual whose identity has been redacted and/or ciphered by the Inquiry, and any information redacted as irrelevant and sensitive, in connection with phase two of the Protection of Children Outside the United Kingdom investigation and referred to during the course of evidence adduced during the Inquiry’s proceedings.[7]

8. Broadcasting

The Chair directed that the proceedings would be broadcast, as has occurred in respect of public hearings in other investigations.

9. Redactions and ciphering

The material obtained for this phase of the investigation was redacted and, where appropriate, ciphers were applied, in accordance with the Inquiry’s Protocol on the Redaction of Documents (the Protocol).[8] This meant that (in accordance with Annex A of the Protocol), for example, absent specific consent to the contrary, the identities of complainants and victims and survivors of child sexual abuse and other children were redacted; and if the Inquiry considered that their identity appeared to be sufficiently relevant to the investigation, a cipher was applied.

Pursuant to the Protocol, the identities of individuals convicted of child sexual abuse (including those who have accepted a police caution for offences related to child sexual abuse)­ were not generally redacted unless the naming of the individual would risk the identification of their victim, in which case a cipher would be applied.

The Protocol also addresses the position in respect of individuals accused, but not convicted, of child sexual or other physical abuse against a child and provides that their identities should be redacted and a cipher applied. However, where the allegations against an individual are so widely known that redaction would serve no meaningful purpose (for example where the individual’s name has been published in the regulated media in connection with allegations of abuse), the Protocol provides that the Inquiry may decide not to redact their identity.

The Protocol recognises that, while the Inquiry will not distinguish as a matter of course between individuals who are known or believed to be deceased and those who are or are believed to be alive, the Inquiry may take the fact that an individual is deceased into account when considering whether or not to apply redactions in a particular instance.

The Protocol anticipates that it may be necessary for core participants to be aware of the identity of individuals whose identity has been redacted and in respect of whom a cipher has been applied, if the same is relevant to their interest in the investigation.

10. Warning letters

Rule 13 of the Inquiry Rules 2006 provides:

“(1) The chairman may send a warning letter to any person –

a. he considers may be, or who has been, subject to criticism in the inquiry proceedings; or

b. about whom criticism may be inferred from evidence that has been given during the inquiry proceedings; or

c. who may be subject to criticism in the report, or any interim report.

(2) The recipient of a warning letter may disclose it to his recognised legal representative.

(3) The inquiry panel must not include any explicit or significant criticism of a person in the report, or in any interim report, unless –

a. the chairman has sent that person a warning letter; and

b. the person has been given a reasonable opportunity to respond to the warning letter.”

In accordance with rule 13, warning letters were sent as appropriate to those who were covered by the provisions of rule 13, and the Chair and Panel considered the responses to those letters before finalising the report.

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