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IICSA Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

Children in the care of Lambeth Council Investigation Report

Contents

A.1: Background to the investigation

1. This is the third of three investigations by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (the Inquiry) considering the sexual abuse of children in the care of local authorities.[1] It relates to institutional failures to protect children in the care of the London Borough of Lambeth (Lambeth Council) from sexual abuse.

2. Lambeth Council has been aware of individual allegations of sexual (and physical) abuse since at least the 1970s. It is now recognised – including by Lambeth Council – that physical and sexual abuse was pervasive in its children’s homes.[2] This remained unchecked for decades. As at June 2020, Lambeth Council was aware of 720 allegations of sexual abuse arising from just three of its children’s homes: Shirley Oaks, South Vale and Angell Road.[3] The Metropolitan Police Service was aware of 283 allegations being made by those who were children in the care of Lambeth Council.[4] It is likely that there are many more children who were sexually abused and where the abuse was either not disclosed or not reported to the authorities.

3. This report examines the scale and nature of abuse that children in the care of Lambeth Council suffered and its failure to protect those children, focussing on the experiences of complainants, victims and survivors. It also considers the role played by internal and external inspection, and responses (including of the Metropolitan Police Service and the Crown Prosecution Service) to allegations of sexual abuse made by those who were children in the care of Lambeth Council.

References

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