Skip to main content

0800 917 1000Open weekdays 8am-10pm, Saturdays 10am-12pm

April 2018
Annex A: Update on investigations

Protection of children outside the UK

In this investigation, the Inquiry examines the extent to which institutions have failed to protect children outside the United Kingdom from sexual abuse.

The investigation includes a case study on the child migration programmes. The public hearings for this case study lasted four weeks and were completed on 26 July 2017. The findings were published in a report in March 2018.[1] Chapter 4 of this report provides an overview of this work.

The second case study in this investigation is examining whether the civil framework is adequate for preventing, and notifying foreign authorities of, foreign travel by individuals known to the UK authorities as posing a risk to children. A public hearing on this case study will take place in February 2019.

Cambridge House, Knowl View and Rochdale (‘Rochdale’)

The Rochdale investigation examined allegations of child sexual abuse and exploitation at Cambridge House hostel and Knowl View School. Other institutions where care for children was arranged or provided by Rochdale Borough Council were also examined.

Preliminary hearings for the investigation took place on 16 March 2016, 27 July 2016, 10 May 2017 and 20 September 2017.

The public hearing lasted three weeks and was completed on 27 October 2017. The findings of this investigation were published in April 2018.[2] Chapter 4 of this report provides an overview of the investigation.

The Roman Catholic Church

In this investigation, the Inquiry examines the extent to which the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales has failed to protect children from sexual abuse. It includes two case studies on the English Benedictine Congregation (which is split into two substantive hearings) and the Archdiocese of Birmingham. The investigation is also looking at issues relating to the wider Roman Catholic Church.

The investigation held preliminary hearings on 28 July 2016, 6 June 2017 and 5 October 2017.

The first public hearing on the English Benedictine Congregation examined Ampleforth and Downside abbeys and their affiliated schools. It lasted three weeks and was completed on 15 December 2017. Chapter 4 of this report provides an update on this case study, and a report will be published in 2018.

The second hearing into the English Benedictine Congregation case study will take place in February 2019 and will examine Ealing Abbey and St Benedict’s School. The public hearing on the Archdiocese of Birmingham will take place in November 2018. A further hearing to consider issues relating to the wider Roman Catholic Church will take place in due course.  

In addition to the public hearings, the Inquiry has considered existing literature on child sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church to accompany the overall investigation. This material provides an overview on themes including secrecy, clericalism (where the clergy is deemed to be more important that the laity) and hierarchy within the Church.[3]

The internet and child sexual abuse

This investigation examines institutional responses to child sexual abuse and exploitation that has taken place online. This includes gaining the trust of a child before carrying out contact sexual abuse, and downloading, sharing, viewing or creating child sexual abuse images.

The first public hearing for the investigation took place over a week and was completed on 26 January 2018. It provided a better understanding of how law enforcement responds to child sexual abuse that involves use of the internet.

The Inquiry heard evidence from witnesses who spoke of the effects that online child sexual abuse has on victims and their families. The Inquiry also heard evidence from law enforcement agencies responsible for investigating this form of child sexual abuse, including the National Crime Agency, the National Police Lead for Child Protection and Abuse Investigations, and a number of police forces in England and Wales.

Further hearings for the wider investigation will take place as it progresses.

The Inquiry has also commissioned three reviews of existing literature to inform the investigation. These reviews explored the behaviours and characteristics of perpetrators online,[4] the vulnerabilities and characteristics of victims online,[5] and the nature and scale of online child sexual abuse.[6]

Chapter 5 of this report explores issues raised in the investigation so far.

The Anglican Church

In this investigation, the Inquiry examines the extent to which the Anglican Church failed to protect children from sexual abuse, including the Church of England and the Church in Wales. The investigation will look at previous and current safeguarding and child protection policies, and will assess whether past reviews and reviews of non-recent cases in the Church of England and Church in Wales were effective. The investigation includes two case studies into the Diocese of Chichester and the case of the former Bishop of Lewes, Peter Ball.

The Diocese of Chichester case study involves examining the culture of the Church, and the Diocese of Chichester in particular, to determine the effect this has had ‒ and continues to have ‒ on safeguarding children. It will look at how practices and procedures for responding to concerns and deficiencies in safeguarding practices have changed over time; how the Church manages recruitment, promotion, resignation and disciplinary action; and whether victims and survivors have received reparations.

As the three-week public hearing for this case study took place in March 2018 ‒ a few weeks before this report was published ‒ its findings have not been included in this report. A report will be published on the Inquiry’s website in due course.

The preliminary hearings for this investigation were held on 28 July 2016, 6 June 2017, 5 October 2017 and 30 January 2018. The public hearing for the case study into Peter Ball will be held in July 2018. One of the issues it will examine is whether there were inappropriate attempts by people of prominence to interfere in the criminal justice process after Peter Ball was accused of a sexual offence. It will also consider the Church’s decision to allow Peter Ball to return to a ministry, following his conviction for a sexual offence.

The Inquiry has also considered existing evidence and literature on child sexual abuse in the Anglican churches to provide an overview on themes including secrecy, clericalism and hierarchy.[7]

The sexual abuse of children in custodial institutions

This investigation examines the extent of institutional failures to protect children from sexual abuse and exploitation while in custodial institutions, such as secure children’s homes, secure training centres and young offender institutions.

The Inquiry identified Medomsley Youth Detention Centre, County Durham, as an initial case study in this investigation. While the apparent scale of abuse at Medomsley demands a rigorous investigation into how multiple allegations could have gone uninvestigated ‒ and any perpetrators undetected for so long ‒ the Inquiry is not progressing its investigation at this stage due to current criminal proceedings.

In its first phase, the investigation is examining the nature and extent of recent sexual abuse of children in custodial institutions, the responses of custodial institutions, and the effectiveness of current institutional and systemic protections of children in custodial institutions from sexual abuse. A preliminary hearing on this interim investigation took place in February 2018 and a public hearing will take place in July 2018.

As part of this investigation, the Inquiry has also assessed existing evidence and literature on child sexual abuse in custodial institutions. This has provided an overview of child sexual abuse within custodial institutions, as well as the characteristics of victims and survivors and perpetrators and the safeguarding systems in place.[8]

Nottinghamshire Councils

This investigation examines the extent of any institutional failures to protect children in the care of Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire County Councils from sexual abuse and exploitation. The definition of scope for this investigation was amended in March 2017 to ensure that it remains focused and proportionate.

The three confirmed case studies for this investigation will focus on foster care, sexual abuse between children and Beechwood children’s home. Each case study will examine the response of institutions to allegations of child sexual abuse, including Nottingham City Council, Nottinghamshire County Council and Nottingham Police. The case studies will also look at the barriers that children faced in disclosing the abuse they suffered.

The investigation held preliminary hearings on 11 May 2017 and 31 January 2018. The public hearings for the investigation will take place in October 2018 in London and Nottingham, and will focus on the selected case studies.

Accountability and reparations

The investigation into accountability and reparations examines how effectively legal processes and existing support services make reparations to victims and survivors of child sexual abuse.

This investigation initiated a consultation process on the civil justice system and criminal compensation, and held associated seminars in November 2016 and February 2017. Chapter 5 of this report explores some of the findings from this engagement in more detail.

The investigation will continue to examine the effectiveness of the civil justice system and criminal compensation in providing accountability and reparations to victims and survivors of child sexual abuse through its case studies and documentary evidence.

There are five case studies in the investigation: North Wales Children’s Home; Forde Park Approved School, St Leonard’s Children’s Home, St Aidan’s and St Vincent’s Children’s Homes, and Stanhope Castle Approved School. Core participants have been designated.

The investigation held preliminary hearings on 29 July 2016 and 28 March 2017. A further preliminary hearing will be held on 8 May 2018 in order to consider the issues that should be explored at the public hearing in November 2018.

Child sexual exploitation by organised networks

This investigation examines whether previous recommendations on child sexual exploitation by organised networks have been implemented, and whether they have resulted in effective strategies to prevent child sexual exploitation by organised networks in the future.

The investigation conducted a detailed review of prosecutions relating to child sexual exploitation by organised networks, and of previous reports and publications that have been published in this area.

Using the themes identified in this review, the investigation is carrying out a benchmarking exercise on institutional responses to child sexual exploitation by organised networks across 13 areas in England and Wales. As part of the benchmarking process, the investigation has requested information related to a number of identified recommendations from local safeguarding children boards, clinical commissioning groups, chief constables, local authorities and the Crown Prosecution Service in each area.

This information will help set the framework for this investigation. A public hearing on child sexual exploitation will be scheduled in due course.

Lambeth Council

This investigation examines institutional failures to protect children in the care of Lambeth Council from sexual abuse and exploitation. It does this by investigating the nature and extent of the abuse of children in the care of Lambeth Council, and examining institutional responses (for example, by the council and police). The alleged abuse includes children cared for in a number of children’s homes and by foster carers or adoptive parents over several decades.

The investigation held preliminary hearings on 24 March 2016 and 27 July 2016. It has recently sought submissions from core participants on proposals for the investigation to focus on three case studies on the following homes: Angell Road, Southvale Assessment Centre and Shirley Oaks. A public hearing on the investigation is to be scheduled.

Institutional responses to allegations concerning the late Lord Janner of Braunstone QC

This investigation examines the adequacy of institutional responses to reports of child sexual abuse involving the late Lord Janner of Braunstone QC (‘Lord Janner’) and will consider whether the institutional response was influenced by his position of prominence.

The investigation held preliminary hearings on 9 March 2016 and 26 July 2016, and has to date received, reviewed and analysed extensive materials from Leicestershire County Council, Leicestershire Police and the Crown Prosecution Service.

The investigation has been concerned not to prejudice or duplicate the ongoing work of the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) and Leicestershire Police. It has also been concerned not to expose core participants who have made allegations to repeated investigatory processes. For this reason, the investigation must await progress from the IOPC and Leicestershire Police, and the Inquiry will continue to liaise with the IOPC to review the anticipated time frame.

In the meantime, the investigation team continues to receive, analyse and examine other aspects of the investigation (for example, in relation to Leicestershire County Council and political institutions).

Allegations of child sexual abuse linked to Westminster

This investigation is an overarching inquiry into allegations of child sexual abuse and exploitation by people of public prominence who are, or were, associated with Westminster.

The Inquiry’s investigation will consider allegations of child sexual abuse committed by persons of public prominence associated with Westminster and how they came to light; the findings of relevant investigations (including police and IOPC investigations, and other reviews and inquiries); whether there is evidence of conspiracy, cover-up, interference or tolerance of any child sexual abuse that took place; whether governmental, political and law enforcement institutions were aware of any child sexual abuse and took appropriate steps in response; and whether there are adequate safeguarding and child protection policies in place within political parties, government departments and agencies.

To do this, the Inquiry will review the work of previous investigations and has begun obtaining evidence from government, political parties, the intelligence and security agencies, law enforcement agencies and prosecuting authorities. The investigation will also take account of evidence gathered by other investigations within the Inquiry. Relevant documents are being considered carefully and will be disclosed to the investigation’s core participants in due course.

A preliminary hearing was held on 31 January 2018 and submissions from core participants on the scope of the investigation were provided in March 2018. A public hearing on the investigation will take place in March 2019.

Residential schools

The investigation into residential schools is examining the nature and extent of child sexual abuse in residential schools and the way in which schools and other institutions have responded. The investigation will consider residential mainstream and special schools in both the state and independent sectors.

The investigation will take a thematic approach when examining residential schools rather than focusing on individual schools. It will look at a number of themes including governance, reporting and whistleblowing, recruitment and termination of employment, inspection and monitoring, and culture. Each theme will be informed by evidence from complainant witnesses, whistleblowers and institutions in the sector. It is intended that there will be public hearings on each of the themes with some requiring more public hearing time than others.

The investigation has also identified a number of areas that require a particular focus. These include residential schools for children with special educational needs, residential schools with a vocational focus, non-recent abuse in residential or prep schools for children with behavioural or emotional problems that are now closed, children whose residential education is paid for by government bodies or whose parents are abroad, and peer-on-peer abuse. The Inquiry will publish an update on its approach to these areas in due course.

The investigation will open its application window for core participants in September 2018. A preliminary hearing will be held in January 2019 and public hearings will be scheduled.

References

Back to top