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IICSA Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

Child sexual exploitation by organised networks Investigation Report

Contents

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

1. Definition of scope

The child sexual exploitation by organised networks investigation was a thematic investigation into institutional responses to the sexual exploitation of children by organised networks.

The scope of the investigation was as follows:

  1. 1. The Inquiry will investigate the nature and extent of, and institutional responses to,sexual exploitation of children by organised networks incorporating case specific investigations alongside a review of information available from published and unpublished reports and reviews, court cases and previous investigations. In doing so the Inquiry will consider the experiences of victims and survivors of child sexual exploitation by organised networks.

  2. 2. The Inquiry will examine the extent to which:

    1. 2.1. children who were subjected to child sexual exploitation were known to local authorities and other public authorities such as law enforcement agencies, schools and/or the NHS;

    2. 2.2. the relevant public authorities, acting alone or working together, effectively identified the risk of child sexual exploitation in communities and took action to prevent it;

    3. 2.3. the response of the constituent parts of the criminal justice system was appropriate in cases of child sexual exploitation;

    4. 2.4. recommendations in previous reports and reviews have been implemented effectively in the wide range of relevant public authorities at national and local levels;

    5. 2.5. effective strategies have now been implemented to prevent child sexual exploitation in the future, and to monitor the safety of vulnerable children including missing children;

    6. 2.6. the applicable statutory and regulatory framework relevant to child sexual exploitation is effective in protecting children from sexual exploitation, including in respect of

      1. (i) taxi and other relevant licensing regimes; and
      2. (ii) other forms of noncriminal intervention such as the civil prevention order regime under the Sexual Offences Act 2003.[1]

2. Core participants and legal representatives

Counsel to this investigation:

  • Henrietta Hill QC
  • Paul Livingston
  • Antonia Benfield
  • Ben Fullbrook

Core participants and their legal representatives:

Complainant core participants:
CS-A2
Solicitor Kim Harrison (Slater and Gordon)
Parents Against Child Exploitation (Pace)
Counsel William Chapman
Solicitor David Greenwood (Switalskis)
Margaret Oliver
Counsel Christopher Jacobs
Solicitor David Enright (Howe and Co Solicitors)
John Wedger
Counsel Christopher Jacobs
Solicitor David Enright (Howe and Co Solicitors)
Centre for Women’s Justice
Counsel Caoilfhionn Gallagher QC and Mary-Rachel McCabe
Solicitor Harriet Wistrich
Sarah Champion MP
Solicitor Haafiz Suleman (Clifford Chance)
Durham Constabulary
Counsel Alan Payne QC
Solicitor Stephen Mooney (Evolve Legal Services)
Durham County Council
Counsel Steven Ford QC
Solicitor Kamila Coulson-Patel (Durham County Council Legal Services)
South Wales Police
Counsel Alison Hewitt
Solicitor Louise Emmitt (South Wales and Gwent Police Joint Legal Services)
Warwickshire Police
Counsel Samantha Leek QC
Solicitor Katharine Grasby (Warwickshire and West Mercia Police Legal Services)
Warwickshire County Council
Counsel Andrew Sharland QC
Solicitor Victoria Gould (Warwickshire County Council Legal Services)
St Helens Council
Counsel Rory Dunlop QC
Solicitor Mark Fisher (St Helens Council Legal Services)
Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis (Metropolitan Police Service)
Counsel Christopher Butterfield
Solicitor Metropolitan Police Service’s Directorate of Legal Services
London Borough of Tower Hamlets
Counsel Cleo Perry QC and Andrew Powell
Solicitor Jill Bayley (London Borough of Tower Hamlets Legal Services)
Avon and Somerset Police
Counsel Elliot Gold
Solicitor Shahzad Hamid (Avon and Somerset Police Legal Services)
Bristol City Council
Counsel Jane Rayson and Charlotte Baker
Solicitor Nancy Rollason (Bristol City Council Legal Services)
National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC)
Counsel James Berry
Solicitor Craig Sutherland (East Midlands Police Legal Services)
Home Office
Counsel Sian Reeves
Solicitor Daniel Rapport (Government Legal Department)
Ofsted
Counsel Mathew Gullick
Solicitor Juliette Smith (Ofsted Legal Services)

3. Evidence received by the Inquiry

Number of witness statements obtained:
157

Organisations and individuals to which requests for documentation or witness statements were sent:

  • Angelou Centre
  • Apna Haq
  • Ariel Trust
  • Association of Directors of Children’s Services Ltd (ADCS)
  • Avon and Somerset Police
  • Barnardo’s
  • Basis Yorkshire
  • Bristol City Council
  • Care Inspectorate Wales
  • Care Quality Commission
  • Catch22
  • Centre for Women’s Justice
  • Centre of Expertise on Child Sexual Abuse (CSA Centre)
  • Changing Lives
  • Children’s Commissioner for Wales
  • Children’s Society
  • Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis (Metropolitan Police Service)
  • Crown Prosecution Service
  • CS-A2, core participant
  • CS-A12, complainant witness
  • CS-A317, complainant witness
  • CS-A371, complainant witness
  • CS-A372, complainant witness
  • CS-A373, complainant witness
  • CS-A435, complainant witness
  • Department for Education
  • Durham Constabulary
  • Durham County Council
  • Durham Safeguarding Children Partnership
  • Dr Ella Cockbain
  • Essex Police (Project Goldcrest)
  • Ethnic Minorities & Youth Support Team Wales (EYST)
  • Greater Manchester Police
  • Healthcare Inspectorate Wales
  • Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS)
  • Home Office
  • Independent Children’s Homes Association Ltd
  • Keeping Bristol Safe Partnership
  • London Borough of Tower Hamlets
  • Merseyside Police
  • Missing People
  • Mountain Healthcare Ltd (Oakwood Place)
  • National Crime Agency (NCA)
  • National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC)
  • National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC)
  • National Youth Advocacy Service (NYAS)
  • Nazir Afzal
  • NWG Exploitation Response Unit
  • Ofsted
  • Parents Against Child Exploitation (Pace)
  • Pebbles Care
  • Proud Trust
  • Sarah Champion MP
  • Sikh Women’s Action Network (SWAN)
  • Dr Sophie Hallett
  • South Wales Police
  • St Giles Trust
  • St Helens Council
  • St Helens Safeguarding Children Partnership
  • SurvivorsUK
  • Tower Hamlets Safeguarding Children Partnership
  • Trafford Council
  • Voices from Care Cymru
  • Warwickshire County Council
  • Warwickshire Police
  • Warwickshire Safeguarding Children Board
  • Welsh Government
  • Western Bay Safeguarding Children Board
  • Wigan Council
  • Wirral Council

The Inquiry also considered research it commissioned to explore the motivations and offending behaviours of perpetrators of child sexual exploitation who had been convicted alongside others.[1]

4. Disclosure of documents

Total number of pages disclosed: 40,797

5. Public hearings including preliminary hearings

Preliminary hearings
1 2 May 2019
2 15 January 2020
Public hearings
Days 1–5 21 September–25 September 2020
Days 6–10 28 September–2 October 2020

6. List of witnesses

Surname Forename Title Called, read, summarised or adduced Hearing day
CS-A12 Called 2
CS-A371 Called 2
CS-A317 Summarised 1
CS-A372 Summarised 1
CS-A373 Summarised 1
Beckett Helen Dr Called 2
Dean Ian Mr Adduced 2
Hallett Sophie Dr Called 2
Taylor Sheila Ms Called 2
Dean Ian Mr Adduced 2
Pearce John Mr Called 3
Banks Michael Mr Called 3
Orford David Deputy Chief Constable Called 3
Ashton David Detective Superintendent Adduced 3
Green Adrian Mr Adduced 3
Quinn Amanda Ms Adduced 3
Seebohm Laura Ms Adduced 3
Thomas Julie Ms Called 4
Richards Daniel Assistant Chief Constable Called 4
Rees Damien Mr Adduced 4
Khan Shehla Dr Adduced 4
Maal Joanna Ms Adduced 4
Jarrett Andrew Mr Adduced 4
Holland Sally Professor Adduced 4
CS-A2 Called 5
Minns Nigel Mr Called 5
Hill Peter Detective Superintendent Called 5
Coleridge-Smith Elaine Ms Adduced 5
English Lawrence Mr Adduced 5
McKenna Vikki Ms Called 6
Leivers Jim Mr Called 6
Critchley Ian David Assistant Chief Constable Called 6
O’Brien Sarah Professor Adduced 6
Carr Sally Ms Adduced 6
Ainsworth Paul Mr Adduced 6
Bottomly Martin Mr Adduced 6
Hardman Jacqui Ms Adduced 6
Baldwin Richard Mr Called 6
Williams Sue Ms Called 7
Jones Debbie Ms Adduced 7
Jones Evan Mr Adduced 7
Thomas Gary Mr Adduced 7
James Ann Ms Called 8
White William Chief Superintendent Called 8
Naylor Amanda Ms Called 8
Cullen Stephen Assistant Chief Constable Adduced 8
Powell Ivan Mr Adduced 8
Scott Rachael Ms Adduced 8
Papaleontiou Christian Mr Called 9
Langdale Sophie Ms Called 9
Heaney Albert Mr Called 9
Ghaffar Wendy Ms Called 9
Stanley Yvette Ms Called 9
Benneyworth Rosie Dr Called 9
Alexander Simon Mr Called 9
Riley Katherine Ms Called 9
McGill Gregor Mr Called 10
Gibbons Gill Ms Called 10
Ahmed Zlakha Ms Called 10
Lewis Rosie Ms Called 10
English Lawrence Mr Adduced 10
Cockbain Ella Dr Adduced 10
Beckett Helen Dr Adduced 10
Scott Rachael Ms Adduced 10
Riley Katherine Ms Adduced 10
Afzal Nazir Mr Adduced 10
Wistrich Harriet Ms Adduced 10

7. Restriction orders

On 23 March 2018, the Chair issued an updated restriction order under section 19(2)(b) of the Inquiries Act 2005, granting general anonymity to all core participants who allege they are the victim and survivor of sexual offences (referred to as ‘complainant core participants’). The order prohibited (i) the disclosure or publication of any information that identifies, names or gives the address of a complainant who is a core participant and (ii) the disclosure or publication of any still or moving image of a complainant core participant. The order meant that any complainant core participant within this investigation was granted anonymity, unless they did not wish to remain anonymous.

On 17 September 2020, 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 or ciphered by the Inquiry, and any information redacted as irrelevant and sensitive, in connection with this investigation and referred to during the course of evidence adduced during the Inquiry’s proceedings.[2]

On 22 September 2020, the Chair issued a restriction order under section 19 of the Inquiries Act 2005 to prohibit the disclosure or publication of information which is capable of identifying CS-A371 as specified at paragraph 2(a) of the Order.[3]

On 22 September 2020, the Chair issued a restriction order under section 19 of the Inquiries Act 2005 to prohibit the disclosure or publication of information which is capable of identifying CS-A12 as specified at paragraph 2(a) of the Order.[4]

On 16 October 2020, the Chair issued two restriction orders under section 19 of the Inquiries Act 2005 to prohibit the disclosure or publication of information which is capable of identifying CS-A1 as specified at paragraph 2 of the Orders.[5]

On 21 October 2020, the Chair issued a restriction order under section 19 of the Inquiries Act 2005 to prohibit the disclosure or publication of information which is capable of identifying CS-B12 as specified at paragraph 2 of the Order.[6]

On 21 October 2020, the Chair issued a restriction order under section 19 of the Inquiries Act 2005 to prohibit the disclosure or publication of information which is capable of identifying CS-A161 as specified at paragraph 2 of the Order.[7]

On 21 October 2020, the Chair issued a restriction order under section 19 of the Inquiries Act 2005 to prohibit the disclosure or publication of information which is capable of identifying “School/College A” as specified at paragraph 2 of the Order.[8]

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).[9] 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 abuse 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.

Finally, 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. “(1) The chairman may send a warning letter to any person -
    1. a. he considers may be, or who has been, subject to criticism in the inquiry proceedings; or
    2. b. about whom criticism may be inferred from evidence that has been given during the inquiry proceedings; or
    3. c. who may be subject to criticism in the report, or any interim report.
  2. (2) The recipient of a warning letter may disclose it to his recognised legal representative.
  3. (3) The inquiry panel must not include any explicit or significant criticism of a person in the report, or in any interim report, unless -
    1. a. the chairman has sent that person a warning letter; and
    2. 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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